News | 7 October 2021

Wellington’s 2021 Diwali Festival going online

The Diwali Festival of Lights is going online this year due to current COVID-19 restrictions.

Three dancers in red dresses on stage with their hands raised above their heads.

In line with other major events around the country, the difficult decision to cancel the live event and go online was made so it could still be celebrated in a safe and responsible way.

In its 20th year, Wellington's annual local Indian and South East Asian communities' most vibrant cultural celebration will be sharing performances and messages online.  

Mayor Andy Foster says difficult decisions need to be made during these challenging times for the well-being of the whole community.

“Obviously this is hugely disappointing for all of us, the organisers, the stallholders and performers, and the thousands of Wellingtonians who flock to this event every year.

“But we commend the organisers for taking this approach, adapting quickly and providing an alternative to ensure the community can still celebrate this annual festival in a safe way.”

While regrettable, the decision was one that had to be made says event producer Murali Kumar.

“For this year, we will still keep the spirit of the festival alive, working towards creating an online celebration showcasing some of our diaspora communities’ cultural repertoire”.

The current uncertainty around the COVID situation has led to the announcement to cancel this years’ event on the waterfront, says Council’s City Events Manager, Suzanne Tamaki.

“Diwali is all about communities coming together, so we’d like to encourage everyone to still get involved by tuning into the online performances once details have been confirmed.

“We look forward to this vibrant, social and culturally connecting event returning to the capital next year.”

Diwali festivals are known as the Festival of Lights. This ancient Hindu festival symbolises the triumph of light over darkness, good over evil, and the renewal of life.

Online Diwali celebrations will be available from Wednesday 3 November. Keep an eye on wellington.govt.nz/diwali and facebook.com/wellingtoncitycouncil for more information about online performances.