The Auckland Diwali Festival returns to Aotea Square and Queen Street for its 21st anniversary next month with an incredible programme that includes captivating dance performances, live music acts, mouth-watering vegetarian food, vibrant arts and crafts, and a fireworks finale.

The free family friendly festival on 8-9 October will celebrate traditional and contemporary Indian culture and promises to add its traditional huge dose of energy to the city centre.

The Auckland Diwali Festival is delivered by Tātaki Auckland Unlimited on behalf of Auckland Council, with founding partner Asia New Zealand Foundation.

Mayor Phil Goff says: “After two years of cancellations because of COVID-19, it is fantastic to be able to host Diwali once again.

“For over 20 years, Diwali has been one of the most popular festivals on our annual events calendar, attracting tens of thousands of people to the city centre to enjoy the tastes, sights and sounds of India,” he says.

“As we begin to return to more normal life following two years of pandemic disruption, the themes of Diwali – the triumph of light over darkness and good over evil, common to all our cultures - take on a special significance.

“I look forward to seeing Aucklanders from all backgrounds coming together to celebrate Auckland’s Indian communities and our city’s rich cultural diversity.”

Musical highlights of this year’s festival include Grammy nominee and multi-platinum selling oboist and composer Russel Walder, who recently played with the NZSO and will perform on the Queen Street stage; and the 50-strong dance group Auckland Maliyali Samajam, which performs to traditional folk music from Indian’s southern Kerala region.

Tātaki Auckland Unlimited Head of Major Events Chris Simpson says: “I’m looking forward to extending my culinary journey with a full array of vegetarian street food options – something the event has become famous for. 

“The Auckland Diwali Festival will add to the vibrancy and build up to the opening matches of Rugby World Cup 2021 (Playing in 2022) at Eden Park and together the events will provide an amazing experience for Aucklanders and visitors to our region.

“We are so excited to be able to deliver an in-person festival this year but those who are unable to attend can still enjoy an interactive online programme, continuing the innovation we introduced last year which was very popular,” Simpson adds. 

The Auckland Diwali Festival will be delivered in line with Ministry of Health guidance for major events at the time. The festival is free to attend, alcohol-free, smoke-free, and family friendly.

Further information can be found here.

Notes to editor

The Auckland Diwali Festival takes its inspiration from Diwali or Deepavali (row of lamps), an important and ancient festival celebrated throughout India and in Indian communities around the world. Colloquially known as ‘The Festival of Lights’, Diwali signifies the triumph of light over darkness, good over evil and the renewal of life.

Getting there: Tātaki Auckland Unlimited encourages the use of public transport, carpooling, cycling and walking. If travelling by private vehicle, paid parking is available at the Civic carpark at Aotea Centre or other parking precincts within walking distance of the venue.