Woking’s Diwali Lantern Parade is returning and it will be Beautiful

The festival of light features a parade across the town and an after party with limited attendance

The story of Diwali tells of Lord Ram’s return home to the kingdom of Ayodhya, after spending 14 years in exile and slaying the demon Ravana.

It is a festival that originated in India. With India being a multicultural country, there are many different faiths, including Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and some Buddhists who celebrate the event, but all faiths and none come along to participate in the Woking event.

Diwali happens annually and the date is determined by the lunar calendar. In 2019, it starts on October 27 and is celebrated through to November 1.

Event timings

There are two parts to the Woking festivities – an open-air lantern parade and an indoor after party packed with a range of entertainment.

The parade will start at 6pm at Gloucester Square outside the Woking Civic Offices, before making its way to Jubilee Square through Peacocks Shopping Centre and along Commercial Way. When it reaches the square, they enact Ram Leela – a street play depicting the story of Diwali and Lord Ram.

The parade ends at the H.G. Wells Conference and Events Centre, where celebrations continue with an after party at 7.30pm, with performances of dance and music by a range of cultural groups.

Associated groups

Woking Borough Council is working on a committee with Surrey Hindu Cultural Association/The Art of Living, Sayapatri Nepali Cultural Group, Woking Tamil Association, Surrey Area Teluga Association and Woking Malayalee Association.

Surrey Art Academy and The Lightbox are working with various community groups to make lanterns for the parade, and arts development officer Rose Blackley from Woking Borough Council says they are always keeping themselves open to other community groups to work with as well.

Ritesh Aswaney is trustee and communications manager with Surrey Hindu Cultural Association, and has been working with the council for four or five years to organise the parade and after party.

He says the celebrations are more popular than ever: “We’ve reached a stage where we have had to close doors due to full capacity – the Wells Room takes 500 capacity.”


While it is not a ticketed event and is free of charge to attend, it is a first come, first serve basis for the after party. Ritesh is keen to point out that it is possible to watch the parade and attend the after party.

He also hopes they can get a good crossover of people celebrating that evening.with the event taking place on Halloween.

There is also a variety of traditional foods for attendees to enjoy. Food is being sourced from Woking Indian restaurant Chennai Dosa Artisanz.

Thanks to GetSurrey for the post:- https://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/wokings-diwali-lantern-parade-returning-17146082

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