Young dancers dressed in elaborate costume kicked off the celebrations for Diwali in style yesterday.

The Auckland Diwali Festival has more than 200 performances over two days at Aotea Square this weekend as more than 60 stalls set up on Queen St offered an array of Indian foods and sweets from curries to vada fried snacks and appam pancakes. This year an increasing number of food stalls are also offering fusion food including Chinese bhel and Manchurian dishes that will get your mouth watering.

Photo / Sylvie Whinray
Photo / Sylvie Whinray

Diwali, or Deepavali, is an ancient Indian festival also known as The Festival of Lights that is celebrated over four or five days each spring in New Zealand.

The religious festival's annual dates are decided by the lunar calendar and this year it officially falls on Sunday, October 27, coinciding with Labour weekend.

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Photo / Sylvie Whinray
Photo / Sylvie Whinray

For the first time, several Auckland landmarks including the Sky Tower, Auckland Museum and Viaduct Harbour are lit in Diwali colours of fuschia, yellow and orange along with the Auckland Harbour Bridge.

Photo / Sylvie Whinray
Photo / Sylvie Whinray
Photo / Sylvie Whinray
Photo / Sylvie Whinray
Photo / Sylvie Whinray
Photo / Sylvie Whinray