The city of sails has been bathed in both sunshine and bright colours this long weekend as Auckland's Diwali Festival brings India to Auckland's CBD.

The city's 17th Auckland Diwali Festival runs from midday to 9pm today, ending with what ATEED (Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development) promises to be a spectacular fireworks show.

The event, also known as the Festival of Lights, is being held on three stages and 70 street stalls spread along Aotea Square and Queen St.

On offer is entertainment, crafts, activities, competitions, fashion and the largest selection of vegetarian food at one festival.


The Auckland Harbour Bridge is also in festival mode and will be lit with the colours and patterns of the folk art-form from 7pm until midnight tonight.

Jeet Suchdev, chairman of the Bhartiya Samaj Trust, said the event got bigger and bigger every year and was almost outgrowing Aotea Square where it had been held since 2002.

"Every year it is getting more and more busier. A lot of people want to take part and people basically people come and enjoy it. They feel very comfortable and they feel joyful because they get to eat a lot of variety of food and see a variety of performances on the stage."

Diwali Festival producer Leilana Meredith said the festival had a wonderful atmosphere and was an unforgettable experience for the whole family.

"We have hundreds of performers presenting music and dance in styles and traditions from all over India. We have Auckland's top professional classical musicians to our foremost Indian DJs, from the youngest students of Auckland's many Indian dance schools to top local and international professional performers, cultural groups from organisations like the NZ Police, Auckland University and ASB, and even the winner of TV3's Great NZ Dance Masala."

The kids would be entertained with games and amusement rides, while the adults could try their hand at DIY henna, learn how to wear a sari, create rangoli patterns or learn Hindi.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, National leader Simon Bridges and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff were among the raft of politicians who joined in on the weekend's festivities. The two-day festival finishes this evening.