2nd Jul, 2022

MUST SEE: Coventry's new Diwali-inspired Carnival of Lights

Editorial Correspondent 17th Oct, 2019 Updated: 17th Oct, 2019

A NEW Diwali-inspired winter Carnival of Lights will be illuminating Coventry on Sunday, November 3.

This visually striking procession will include a music float, dhol drummers, stilt-walkers, illuminated umbrellas, a beautiful lotus flower float and 100 lanterns.

Families will be able to make their own lanterns at Foleshill Creates artist-run workshops in October half term.

Thousands are expected to line the streets for the first Carnival of Lights, which is part of Coventry City of Culture Trust’s programme of events prior to 2021.

Starting off in Foleshill Road at 5.15pm the procession will end in Broadgate at around 6.30pm. Performances will continue in the city centre until 7pm.

Chenine Bhathena, creative director at Coventry City of Culture Trust, said: “Created with communities and artists in Coventry, Carnival of Lights will be a spectacular celebration to mark the start of the busy festive season.

“Inspired by Diwali, the festival of lights celebrated across many of our communities, this procession will include live music, dazzling dancing, soulful singing and hundreds of lanterns, produced by Nutkhut and Remarkable Productions.

“This will be a secular, family event with thousands of people expected to line the streets processing along the historic Foleshill Road, across the ring road and around the city centre, with a musical finale in Broadgate.

“It’s great to see this new festive celebration, that fuses creativity with hope and faith, and brings our many communities together to welcome in the dark winter nights.”

Coun Abdul Salam Khan, deputy leader of Coventry City Council and cabinet member for events, said: “I am delighted to see the Carnival of Lights become a part of city life.

“It takes inspiration from celebrations such as Diwali and Christmas, with people celebrating side by side, regardless of faith, race, age or background, from Foleshill right into the city centre.

“Coventry is made of many different communities from all over the world who bring their own traditions and festivals to share with us so we can all enjoy them as one. That makes a very strong city and a very vibrant one and it is one of the reasons why we were awarded the title of UK City of Culture 2021.

“I am sure the Carnival of Lights will become a popular date on our city’s calendar.”

Coun Ram Lakha OBE has been involved in the planning of the event, partly through his role with Mercia Lions – which is part of an international network of volunteers that serves its local community.

He said: “I am very grateful to Coventry City of Culture Trust and its management for bringing this kind of event back to the streets of Coventry.

“The Carnival of Lights is very colourful and brings positive energy into the community with the thought of victory of light and enlightenment over the evil darkness of ignorance.

“There is desire within the community to enjoy this as part of multicultural society. We – as proud citizens of Coventry – are happy to enjoy an event inspired by Diwali as part of our Coventry culture.”

Lantern workshops are taking place during half-term week at St Pauls Church Foleshill Rd, on Tuesday October 22, Thursday October 24 and Friday October 25 at 10.30-12.30 and Foleshill Community Centre on Saturday November 2 at 11.30-1.30 and 2.30-4.30.

For more information on the workshops or the event itself, go to www.coventry2021.co.uk 

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