Platt Fields Park will be the setting for an exciting day of celebrations in honour of the Hindu festivals of Dashehra and Diwali – the festival of light - this Saturday, 11 October.
Hundreds of lanterns, a burning giant demon king and a fireworks finale will all light up a Mela to symbolise the triumph of good over evil and to mark the start of Hindu New Year.
The burning of the effigy and the flames signify the ridding of the mind and soul of impurities ready for a renewal of the human spirit.
Thousands of people are expected to attend the family-friendly event in Platt Fields Park, Manchester on Saturday 3.30pm - 9.00pm. It has been organised by Manchester City Council and the Indian Association Manchester.
The Mela will be a wonderful opportunity for all communities to come together and celebrate the richness and diversity of Manchester. It will be a family event with something for every one.
Prior to the event, more than 300 children in schools all over Greater Manchester will be preparing lanterns and monkey costumes to form an army of monkeys for a community lantern procession.
Live performances on stage will include Indian dances, Bollywood, Bhangra, folk and traditional. Jassi Sidhu, one of the best Bhangra singers will be performing live with his full band.
In a second performance area there will be dance workshops, Dhol players, bubble performance, fire dance and Indian Wedding Brass Band.
There will also be arts and crafts (Henna and face painting, Rangoli, face painting and paper craft) workshops for children.
Councillor Mike Amesbury, Executive Member for Culture and Leisure at Manchester City Council said: "This is yet another opportunity for Manchester to celebrate its cultural and religious diversity and to share this wonderful event with the city's Hindu community. Everyone is welcome to attend what promises to be a fantastic day and I look forward to seeing families from right across Manchester enjoying the celebratory atmosphere."
Throughout the evening visitors will be able to enjoy a fun fair and shop or enjoy a mouth-watering variety of delicious Indian food at over 30 stalls. The event will end with a brilliant fireworks display.
Entry to the Mela will be FREE. Ample secure car parking will be available at £3 per car.
Dashehra and Diwali have religious significance for Hindus, Sikhs and Jains. The festivals are celebrated by many communities in India and throughout the world. Both symbolise the power of good to triumph over evil. Diwali also marks the start of the Hindu New Year.
The event is supported by the Arts Council North West and the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (AGMA). 2008 is the third year of this very successful event.
For more information visit http://www.dashehradiwali.co.uk/
Claire Keegan, Press Office, tel: 0161 234 4014