A nine-foot mechanical elephant, music, dance and poetry will all feature in Nottingham City Council’s celebrations for Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights, in the Old Market Square on Friday (13 October) and Saturday (14 October).

On Friday, the elephant will parade around the Square, accompanied by dancers and musicians, and diya lamps made as part of an Arts Council England-funded project will be floated on the water feature.  During the weekend, there will be a large rangoli installation on display, rangoli workshops and one-to-one readings from some of Nottingham’s best poets.  On Saturday, Hare Krishna devotees will be singing the Maha Mantra and giving people the opportunity to ‘Make a wish, light a lamp’.  The Diwali celebrations will take place from 6 to 8.30pm on Friday and 12 to 4pm on Saturday.

In addition, there will be a market, also in the Square, from 9am to 9pm on Friday and 9am to 4pm on Saturday.

Councillor Dave Trimble, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture, said: “We are proud of Nottingham’s diverse communities and wanted everyone to be able to share in the celebrations for the Hindu festival of Diwali.”