Vaimoana Tapaleao is the New Zealand Herald's Pacific Affairs and People reporter.

Indian festival lights up the city centre

A young dancer dressed for the Diwali festival. Photo / Dean Purcell
A young dancer dressed for the Diwali festival. Photo / Dean Purcell

Tens of thousands of people turned out to the two-day event, held in and around Aotea Square.

The event celebrates one of India's most significant times of the year, in which Diwali - popularly known as the Festival of Lights - takes place at the end of October.

Diwali signifies the triumph of light over darkness and good over evil. Celebrations in India can run for up to a week.

This year's Auckland Diwali Festival featured Punjabi dance groups, cultural performances, beauty pageants, henna painting and more than 50 food and craft stalls.

The food stalls - many of which offered vegetarian dishes - were a big favourite for people from all backgrounds and there were all kinds of delicious and spicy aromas in the air.

YouTube star Superwoman - real name Lilly Singh. Photo / Dean Purcell
YouTube star Superwoman - real name Lilly Singh. Photo / Dean Purcell

One of the biggest drawcards this year was international YouTube star Superwoman - real name Lilly Singh. The 25-year-old, who has more than a million subscribers to her Punjabi-inspired funny videos, was a hit with Kiwi fans and was yesterday out and about meeting them and posing for photos.

The Diwali Festival ended with a huge fireworks display last night.

- NZ Herald

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