Back in India, Diwali is when Bankim Patel decks his home with glittering lights, candles and diyas and hosts hundreds of visitors with yummy snacks and food.

In Auckland, the Ola driver will be decorating and lighting up his car and plans to share the spirit of the Hindu festival of lights with his rides.

The Auckland Diwali Festival 2019 will take place in Aotea Square on Saturday and Sunday, October 12 and 13.

Food is considered an important aspect of Diwali. Photo / File
Food is considered an important aspect of Diwali. Photo / File

Patel, 41, whose family immigrated from Gujarat 17 years ago is one of hundreds of Ola drivers who will be setting their cars aglow and playing Indian music during the festival weekend.

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"I cannot invite everyone to my house, but I can take the celebration and spirit of Diwali to each and every one of my passengers," said Patel, a father of three girls aged 5 to 14.

"It's a great way to share my culture, and I will offer them treats like jalebi and ladoo, and also Indian sweets, just like how I'd host them in my home."

Avinash Kumar, of the ASB dance performance group, at the 2017 Auckland Diwali Festival. Photo / File
Avinash Kumar, of the ASB dance performance group, at the 2017 Auckland Diwali Festival. Photo / File

Also referred to as Deepavali, Diwali is a five-day Hindu festival of lights. Families light lamps, candles and fireworks to symbolise the triumph of light over darkness and good over evil.

The Auckland Diwali Festival has been held annually since 2002, set up to raise public awareness of Indian culture and acknowledge the contribution of Indian communities here.

More than 57,000 attended the event last year, and it is one of the city's largest cultural festivals.

Sahuna Raghuraman was the youngest performer at the 2017 Auckland Diwali festival. Photo / File
Sahuna Raghuraman was the youngest performer at the 2017 Auckland Diwali festival. Photo / File

Patel will be lighting his car interiors with glowing lights, which will be synchronised to festive Indian music.

"I hope the lights act as a conversation starter, and also it will be a blessing for passengers to overcome darkness and evil," he said.

Brian Dewil, country manager of the Indian-founded rideshare company Ola New Zealand, said Diwali provided an opportunity to celebrate the diversity of its driver community and the company's heritage.

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"Ola has more than 7000 drivers ... who come from a diverse range of cultural and religious backgrounds," Dewil said.

"Offering our drivers the opportunity to light up their cars for what is one of the most important festivals of the year for many of them, reflects that."

For the first time the wider Auckland city will be lit up in Diwali colours including the Auckland Harbour Bridge, Sky Tower, Auckland Museum and Viaduct Harbour. Photo / File
For the first time the wider Auckland city will be lit up in Diwali colours including the Auckland Harbour Bridge, Sky Tower, Auckland Museum and Viaduct Harbour. Photo / File

Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) Auckland Diwali Festival producer Leilana Meredith said hundreds of performances would place across two days.

One of the highlights this year is "Ragas and Chants of India", a seven-piece orchestra comprising Indian and non-Indian ethnicities including Maori, British and Cook Island, performing North Indian classical music with harmonium, tabla, sitar and violin.

Food is considered an important aspect of Diwali and more than 60 street stalls offering a range of vegetarian Indian food and delicacies - including sweets, samosas, karanji and aloo tikki - will be set up on Queen St.

For the first time this year, the wider Auckland city will also be lit up in Diwali colours including the Auckland Harbour Bridge, Sky Tower, Auckland Museum and Viaduct Harbour.

The actual Diwali date, which goes by the Hindu lunisolar calendar, this year falls on October 27.

Diwali is celebrated by Indian communities all over the world, including New Zealand, Australia and London.

AUCKLAND DIWALI FESTIVAL

When:

October 12-13, 2019 from noon to 9pm. Closes with fireworks on Sunday night

Where:

Aotea Square and Queen St

Details:

For more information: aucklandnz.com/diwali