Light up, light up: Pupils create hundreds of bright lanterns for Diwali

Over 300 children from primary schools across Edinburgh are taking part in lantern making workshops this October, as part of the activities leading up to Diwali, the annual Festival of Light celebrated by Hindus, Jains and Sikhs throughout the world.

The workshops, for P6 and 7 pupils, are being led by Leith-based artists, Vision Mechanics. The lanterns will be designed as “flowers of light”, and constructed using special waterproof paper to withstand the Scottish weather.

Festival organiser, Mr Mohindra Dhall said: “Edinburgh Diwali is always keen to welcome members of all communities to join in our Festival activities and we are delighted this year to be collaborating with Edinburgh schools.”

The lanterns will be on display on Sunday 29 October when the children carry them through Edinburgh as part of the city’s Diwali parade which leaves from the City Chambers at 2pm, passingthrough The Royal Mile, The Mound, Hanover Street, George Street and to the bottom of Castle Street.

Edinburgh’s Lord Provost, Frank Ross, paid the P6 class at St Mary's RC Primary School a visit as they made their lanterns. The Lord Provost is Patron of Edinburgh’s Diwali. He said: “I’m looking forward to seeing these colourful hand-crafted lanterns light up the city for Diwali. It is touching to see school children of all backgrounds and beliefs involved in the city’s celebrations. They have been doing a great job so far. Happy Diwali

“All over the world, Sikhs, Jains and Hindus will be celebrating the Festival of Light in a similar way to Edinburgh with lanterns, fireworks and sparklers. I am proud Scotland’s Capital has such a strong Indian community and this will be our biggest and most inclusive Diwali Festival yet.”

Diwali is a lively and colourful festival which symbolises the victory of good over evil, light over darkness and knowledge over ignorance.

On Sunday 29 October from noon at the Ross Theatre, Edinburgh’s Diwali Festival will be a celebration of light in West Princes Street Gardens with hand-held lamps against the backdrop of Edinburgh Castle and a colourful fireworks display. 

There will be 2,500 sparklers lit up at exactly 7pm in the Gardens for a full minute, following a parade of 300 lanterns through the Old and New Towns.

The schools workshop programme has made possible through the generous support of Awards for All.

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