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How to celebrate Diwali in central London

Follow our seven ideas to make the most of the festival of lights.

Covering five days of celebrations that reach a light-filled pinnacle on 12 November in 2023, Diwali celebrates the victory of good over evil. Find out how you can join in the celebrations across Regent Street and St James’s.

Join Diwali on the Square

London’s free annual celebration, Diwali on the Square, returns to Trafalgar Square on 29 October with a hotly anticipated line-up of performers from the city’s Hindu, Sikh and Jain communities. As well as watching the acts on the main stage, you can have a go at turban tying, unwind with yoga and be treated to henna designs, between feasting on vegan and vegetarian street food.

Shop for good luck

Some purchases are regarded as auspicious during Dhanteras, which marks the start of Diwali. None more so than utensils made from copper, brass or silver – peruse the third-floor Cook Shop at Fortnum & Mason for a large choice. But before taking them inside the home, make sure to fill them with food or water – also avoid buying sharp objects, leather items or anything black.

Go for gold

Buying gold during the festival also encourages good luck, so it’s the perfect excuse to visit one of the area’s jewellers for an extra special item. Mappin & Webb has a large range of gold and white gold items, from bracelets and necklaces to watches; while Deakin & Francis’ gold cufflinks would be the perfect keepsake for a loved one.

Embrace the festival of lights

Religious communities decorate their homes with plenty of lights during Diwali, which is the celebration of light over darkness. Anthropologie has a huge choice of candles and candle holders in all shapes and sizes for an eye-catching display, or check out Jo Malone’s range of scented candles for a fragrant impression.

Prepare for family gatherings

Festivals are a time to be among family and friends, so if you’re hosting a get-together over Diwali, stock up on some kitchenware to serve all that fantastic festival food. H&M Home has plenty of wallet-friendly options, including small wooden bowls and trays and stoneware serving dishes. Or, head to Liberty London for some Indian-inspired designs, from elephant table mats to tiger salt and pepper shakers.

Indulge with chocolate

Hotel Chocolat has curated a range of chocolates to celebrate Diwali that are perfect for sharing with the whole family – many of which are suitable for vegetarians and vegans. Try the Ginger Chocolate Gift Box for zingy morsels, or the Unbelievably Vegan H-Box for a choice of 14 creamy creations.

Enjoy celebratory food

Take your pick from Diwali-themed dishes and wide-ranging menus across Regent Street and St James’s. Keep an eye out for special dishes at Michelin-starred Indian restaurant Veeraswamy and Chutney Mary, including sweet treats. Or share seasonal plates with friends and family from chef Rishim Sachdeva at plant-based eatery Tendril and Modern Indian delights from Zorawar Kalra at Farzi Café.


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