Diwali is a festival of light celebrated by people from several different countries and religions, including Sikhs, Hindus, Buddhists and Jains. Specific celebrations and traditions differ between groups, but it's generally celebrated as the triumph of good over evil, and can involve lanterns and oil lamps.
The date for Diwali 2021 is 4 November 2021. Here's what celebration are going on in London around then.
Diwali in Trafalgar Square 2021
After 2020's event was cancelled, it looks like the Diwali in London celebrations in Trafalgar Square will go ahead.
The free festival is London's biggest Diwali celebration, and organised by the Mayor of London, is open to all, and takes place on 23 October 2021.
Around 35,000 people attend, to enjoy live music and dance performances on the stage and through the square. In past years, these have included Garba, a hand clapping dance from the Gujarat region of India, though bear in mind things may be scaled back this year, and much of the entertainment is being show on a large screen, rather than in person.
Indian food is the order of the day at the street food market in the square, where stalls sell snacks including vegan and vegetarian dishes and Indian sweets. There's also information on the background of the festival for Londoners and tourists who aren't overly familiar with it.
Diwali 2021 at Dishoom
Beloved restaurant Dishoom takes over Brick Lane's 93 Feet East for a Diwali celebration, Bombay-style. Alas, the daytime, family workshops have sold out, but after 6pm it becomes adults-only, with live music, DJ sets, live art and spoken word from the UK's leading South Asian artists. Food is available to buy from Dishoom's Diwali menu, with Dosa Deli pitching in too, From £12, booking required, 28 October 2021.
Diwali Family Weekend at The Museum of the Home, Hoxton
Previously known as the Geffrye Museum, Hoxton's Museum of the Home celebrates Diwali with a weekend of special family friendly activities. Take part in storytelling sessions and dance workshops, or have a go at making your own rangoli art or diya (oil lamp) decoration. 30-31 October 2021.
Diwali 2021 at National Maritime Museum, Greenwich
As in previous years, The National Maritime Museum in Greenwich holds a day of family-friendly Diwali events. Watch Bollywood and Bhangra performance and try a few dance steps yourself, and take part in music, art and craft events celebrating light. The day culminates in a lantern parade in Greenwich Park at 4pm — get to the museum in plenty of time to make your own lantern first. 31 October 2021.
If you can't be there in person, check out the museum's online Diwali resources. You can watch a special dance performance filmed at the Queen's House, and learn how to make your own lantern or Rangoli.
Diwali: Festival of Lights at Sutton Central Library
Diwali 2021 at Harrow Fireworks
Harrow's firework display is a double bill of Bonfire Night event and a celebration of Diwali. Head to Byron Park on 6 November 2021 for a Diwali dance performance and Diwali art and henna tattoos, alongside a funfair, bar, face painting, and a 20-minute firework display.