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 this year is 24 October. Here's what celebrations are going on in London around then.
Diwali in Trafalgar Square 2022
This free festival in the heart of London is the city's biggest Diwali celebration. Organised by the Mayor of London, it's open to all, and takes place relatively early — on 9 October 2022.
Around 35,000 people will attend, to enjoy live music and dance performances — including Garba, a hand clapping dance from the Gujarat region of India — on the stage and throughout the square.
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 not overly familiar with Diwali.
Diwali in Trafalgar Square, 9 October 2022.
Diwali at Wembley Park
Wembley Park celebrates Diwali with this free one-day event. A main stage pops up in front of the Designer Outlet, hosting performances by Odissi dancers (classical Indian dancing), Bollywood dancing from BollyRed, and drumming and bhangra dancing from Dhol Foundation. There's also a special show from BAPS Temple (aka Neasden Temple) performers.
Lanterns made by school children from the Brent area star in a lantern parade finale, wending down Wembley Park Boulevard and Olympic Way.
Diwali at Wembley Park, 1 October 2022.
Finding Diwali at National Maritime Museum, Greenwich
Royal Museums Greenwich hosts a family-friendly Finding Diwali takeover by South Asian arts collective CommonGround& at the National Maritime Museum.
Comedian, performer and presenter Parle Patel introduces live music and dance, and a lantern parade down to Queen's House. You can make a lantern for the parade at a workshop during the day — other creative sessions include making a rice shaker, a rangoli design, or Diwali-inspired jewellery.
The museum's wider October half term activities (22-30 October) are also on the theme of light, based loosely on Diwali, and covering everything from shadow puppets to light houses to stained glass.
Finding Diwali at National Maritime Museum, 22 October 2022.
Celebrating Diwali at the Museum of the Home, Hoxton
East London's Museum of the Home (previously the Geffrye Museum) launches its Winter Festival with a Diwali Family Celebration Day, during which the museum's winter lights are switched on.
On 22 October. crafts, Bollywood dancing and a hot vegan food banquet by Dabba Drop are open to everyone. Take part in lantern making and other crafts, and finish the day at the twilight parade in the gardens.
The Diwali celebrations continue throughout the week, with visitors' creations on display, as well as Diwali objects and stories curated by local Hindu, Sikh and Jain communities. Plus, The Night Before Diwali, curated in one of the museum's room sets, looks at how a South Asian family in London might prepare for Diwali.
Christmas, Hannukah and Lunar New Year celebrations are also marked as part of the ongoing Winter Festival.
Celebrating Diwali at the Museum of the Home, 22 October 2022.
Diwali Supperclub at Kricket White City
Modern Indian restaurant Kricket hosts a special Diwali supperclub at its White City branch, where chef Will Bowlby serves a traditional vegetarian thali feast.
Begin with chevda (an array of savoury snacks) and papads (poppadoms), accompanied by three chutneys — date and tamarind; green chilli and coriander; and confit garlic and chilli.
For the main feast, tuck into Jerusalem artichoke gujiya (a sweet, deep-fried dumpling), alongside leek and potato samosa, as well as pumpkin kachori (a spicier deep-fried snack) and brown butter laccha paratha (flatbread). Dessert takes the form of customary Indian sweets such as gulab jamun (milk-based sweets) and pumpkin ka halwa (a carrot-based pudding). Your ticket (£35) also includes a welcome drink.
Diwali Supperclub at Kricket, 24 October 2022.
Diwali at Kanishka
Kanishka, a contemporary Indian restaurant in Mayfair, is also serving a special Diwali menu.
Chef Atul Kochhar has concocted a three-course Diwali feasting menu, designed to be shared among the table. Dishes include bhatti masala lamb chops and ajwaini prawns, followed by a selection of curries (think chicken tikka masala, Kolkata lamb biryani, and goat kosha). Finish up with a selection of festive sweets — browse the full menu.
Diwali menu at Kanishka, available 15-30 October 2022. £65 per person.
Diwali at Everest Inn, Blackheath
Blackheath's Everest Inn is a Nepalese and Indian restaurant, known locally for its Diwali events each year — and the Festival of Light celebrations are back for one night only in 2022.
On arrival at the restaurant, you'll receive an authentic welcome token — a bindi and traditional scarf for women, and a Dhaka topi (traditional Nepali hat) for men. Tuck into a three-course sharing-style candlelit meal, taking inspiration from Nepalese/Indian fusion dishes, with meat and veggie options available, and a traditional Diwali dance performance to watch while you dine.
Diwali at Everest Inn, Blackheath, 24 October 2022.