Thousands of people flocked to central Auckland today to celebrate the ancient Hindu festival of Diwali.

The epicentre of celebrations is Queen St's Aotea Square, which has become home to a host of rides, games, workshops, live dance, music, puppet and theatre performances.

Photos / Chris Loufte
Photos / Chris Loufte

The event, which is the largest vegetarian festival in the city, is free to attend and continues tomorrow.

Auckland Council said it was a celebration of the city's ethnic diversity and a chance to enjoy and experience traditional and contemporary Indian culture in its many exciting forms.

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Dancers from Hit Pe Hit perform traditional dances on stage in Aotea Square. Photos / Chris Loufte
Dancers from Hit Pe Hit perform traditional dances on stage in Aotea Square. Photos / Chris Loufte

Motorists heading into central Auckland tomorrow and early Monday are warned to be patient, with delays likely due to the closure of Queen St, between Wellesley St and Mayoral Drive, until 5am Monday.