Bring the whānau and friends to eat, dance and sing the weekend away

It’s not long to go before the popular Auckland Diwali Festival brightens up Aotea Square and Queen Street this weekend with lively dance performances, music to get you moving, vegetarian food that takes the tastebuds to another place and colourful arts and crafts.

The free, family friendly festival on 8-9 October will celebrate traditional and contemporary Indian culture from midday until 9pm on both days.

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

Festival Producer Sharon Tang says some of the highlights of this year’s event include The Chalk it Up competition, a chance for Aucklanders to show off their rangoli skills.

“Rangoli is a traditional, colourful art form and this year, Aucklanders get to bring out their creative side so come along to Bledisloe Lane adjacent to Aotea Square to see these creations come to life. And if you want to learn more, why not try your hand at the family-friendly rangoli workshop at the Grass Terraces; it will run on both days of the festival,” she says.

The festival is known for delivering music and performances that get the crowd moving. This year will be no different with three stages offering a range of sounds.

“Our stage programmes offer festival favourites, including contemporary and traditional dance performances on the Aotea stage, a classical music programme on the Queen Street stage, and interactive dance workshops in the Street Zone.”

The popular food options are also back.

“Food will once again be one of the drawcards, with a range of vegetarian dishes that will transport tastebuds beyond India. One of the highlights is the Diwali signature dishes created by the Terrace Café and Red Container Café in Aotea Square, which feature a fusion of Māori and Indian flavours, ingredients and techniques,” Tang 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.

More details about the programme can be found here.