Diwali is a five-day festival of lights, celebrated by millions of Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists around the world.
In Edinburgh, Diwali is celebrated with a free, day-long festival that starts with a parade, led by the Lord Provost of Edinburgh. After some Diwali dance and music performances from 1.30pm outside the City Chambers, the parade sets off at 2.30pm along The Royal Mile down to a theatre, music and dance show at the Ross Bandstand in Princes Street Gardens.
Diwali is one of several occasions celebrated with lights and fireworks at this time of year, others being Samhuinn Fire Festival at Hallowe'en, and Bonfire Night. Diwali has deep cultural and spiritual roots, representing the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil and hope over despair.
The Diwali parade features floats with giant Hindu Gods: Ganesha, the Elephant God; Hanuman, the Monkey God and Commander in Chief of Rama’s Army; Shiva, God that destroys and transforms the Universe and the centrepiece of Rama’s Horse-drawn Chariot carrying Rama, his wife Sita, his brother Lakshman and Hanuman returning from exile after killing Demon God Ravana.
Music and dance includes pipe bands, led by the band of the Scottish Regiment and folk dancers from India and Scotland.
At the end of the Edinburgh Diwali Parade (around 4pm) the Diwali celebrations move onto The Ross Bandstand in West Princes Street Gardens for live performance ranging Bollywood style dance to dramatic enactment.
A selection of North and South Indian Food will be available and the Festival ends with a firework show around 7.30pm.
On Wednesday 23 October a new Happy Diwali sign will light up the city from Castle Rock and a Lightopia Chinese lantern display and performances will animate Castle Street until Saturday 26 October.
The Edinburgh Diwali and Lightopia Lantern display switches on in Castle Street on Wednesday 23 October at 5.00pm.
Performances run from 5.00pm to 7.00pm each evening on Wednesday 23, Thursday 24 and Friday 25 October.
Diwali events are free.