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Auckland Diwali Festival this weekend

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Bhaaji, tawa paneer, punjabi chole, and aloo tikki are on the menu this weekend in Auckland, as part of the annual celebrations of New Zealand’s largest vegetarian festival.

From popular, brightly coloured mithai (sweets) and spice-filled samosas, to traditional, mouth-watering curries, the 18th Auckland Diwali Festival will offer an opportunity for Aucklanders and visitors alike to sample a diverse range of culinary options from more than 40 food stallholders this weekend.

The festival is delivered by Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) on behalf of Auckland Council, in conjunction with founding partner Asia New Zealand Foundation and is set to bring to life Aotea Square and Queen Street from midday until 9pm each day on Saturday, 12 and Sunday, 13 October.

In addition to the incredible array of Indian foods and sweets, festival goers will enjoy more than 50 hours’ live entertainment, with more than 200 performances throughout the weekend showcased across three areas - the Aotea Square Stage, the Queen St Stage and the Street Zone performances (corner of Queen and Wakefield). Next to the festival’s main space, audiences can learn about the 125-year history of New Zealand’s Indian communities at a photography exhibition Mokaa: the Land of Opportunity located in the foyer of Aotea Centre.

ATEED Auckland Diwali Festival Event Producer Leilana Meredith says: "Cultural festivals such as Auckland Diwali demonstrate to locals and visitors the breadth and depth of culinary experiences available in Tāmaki Makaurau. This festival is also an excellent celebration and chance to tell Auckland’s Indian stories to the wider community and beyond Auckland.

"I can’t wait to enjoy my favourite dish chole bhature, which has a combination of chana masala and bhatura, a mouth-watering fried bread made from maida. I encourage people to peruse the diverse range of stalls on offer this weekend and taste something new and different this Diwali."

This is the second year Auckland Diwali Festival has partnered with the Auckland Regional Public Health and the food stallholders on food safety and healthier menus.

Not only will Diwali keep festivalgoers well-fed, for the first time in the festival’s 18-year history, some of the region’s landmarks will be lit up in the ‘Diwali’-themed colours of fuschia, yellow and orange.

The SKYCITY Sky Tower, Auckland Museum, Auckland Harbour Bridge, Viaduct Harbour and Queen Street will shine bright to showcase Indian culture in Auckland.

Full details available at www.aucklandnz.com/diwali.

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