Firework displays, prayers, festive events, and family get together- this is what Diwali is all about. The significance of Diwali is derived from the spiritual story of Ramayana and symbolised by the prevalence lights, that is, the triumph of good over evil.
Nitin Palan (founder member) had a vision of sharing this spirit of Diwali with the world, starting with London. The spirit of love, sharing and celebrating in harmony started 18 years ago with a group of friends. Over the years several organisations with members representing a cross-section and multicultural communities of India have been working together to deliver Londoners with the best Diwali.
Every year the ‘Diwali in London’ committee, in partnership with the MAYOR OF LONDON, brings Diwali on Trafalgar Square to London. Trafalgar Square hosts one of the biggest Diwali with around 30000 people from different communities come together to live this spectacular event with their loved ones. The festival is brought to life with musicals that spread the music of love and joy all around and performance to make the moments enjoyable and memorable. Festivities began with a breath taking dance featuring more than 220 performers from dance troupes across London. At the heart of celebrations was a diva-lighting ceremony that cast a warm glow over the square.
The event brought the desi traditional taste with options for everyone. From vegan to a meat-eater and from sweet to traditional spicy food everything was well thought of and made available at the food stalls present at the event. Alongside medleys of popular Bollywood songs in Tamil, English, and Bengali, visitors can also learn cultural crafts such as how to tie a turban, drape a sari or practise yoga and meditation and take part in a live Garba dance which makes people experience and enjoy the tradition and culture of India. Beautiful crafts and gifts were also available to purchase on the day of the event. It’s a festival to bring people together and spread joy so the entry to the event was free.
Nitin Palan, MBE, and wife Kamu Palan, highly successful entrepreneurs are the founder and co-founder of the Golden Tours Company which has been in existence for around thirty-five years. From the success of the company, Nitin Palan and Kamu Palan set up the Foundation to ‘give back’ to the communities it serves. The Foundation supports social development projects in education, interfaith and heritage. These projects include the founding of Diwali at the London Festival in Trafalgar Square attracting over 35,000 people every year. Palan Foundation sponsors the lantern for the Trafalgar square Diwali event and
The Palan Foundation also sponsored the very famous puppet show Ramayana: An Ancient Indian Epic which displays the historic tail of Lord Ram with the help of puppets. The shows are done by Purana’s Ltd to connect cultures through stories.
Ramayana: An Ancient Indian Epic (Audible UK; Audible India) audiobook was judged by The Times (UK) as one of the “Best audiobooks of 2017”, granting them a contract with British airways till 2028. The same narration was thought to be presented through puppets and so Puranas’multi-cultural group of puppeteers performed the preview at the Mayor of London sponsored Diwali celebrations at Trafalgar Square in 2018. The organizers asked Puranas to perform again at Trafalgar Square for Diwali 2019.