Published: Friday, 14th October 2022

Diwali celebrations in Royal Greenwich to be "better and brighter than ever".

As the seasons change and days grow shorter, join us to celebrate the popular festival of Diwali - Festival of Lights - On Saturday 22 October. Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site will be illuminated with a free programme of events as part of the Greenwich Light Time series, linking the National Maritime Museum and Old Royal Naval College through Greenwich Town Centre. 

The display will culminate in a spectacular light show from 6.45pm until 8.30pm, colourfully lighting up the Old Royal Naval College colonnades, the iconic domes and shining beams of light into the air above Queen’s House and across the classical buildings. There are plenty of exciting activities to get stuck into leading up to the final display, so join us any time from noon to make a day of it.   

As the sun sets, follow the atmospheric Diwali parade with lanterns made by Royal Greenwich residents, as it winds its way from the grounds of the National Maritime Museum to the riverside lawns of the Old Royal Naval College. The light show includes a community-sourced film projected across the historic buildings, made up of kaleidoscopic ‘rangolis’ - a colourful art form originating in the Indian subcontinent – created by local schools, families and other community groups. 

To refuel before or after the light show head to pop-up food markets at Clocktower Market and on the grounds of the Old Royal Naval College, run by long-standing local cooperative Greenwich Co-operative Development Agency (GCDA). Between 12pm and 8pm you can tuck into delicious street food from around the world, brought to you by our local traders. From authentic Indian offerings by Chai Junction and Chef Yogis, vegan Caribbean food by the brilliant Joy’s Caribbean Fusion (a highly commended business at the 2022 Royal Greenwich Business Awards) and paella from Tapas Bravas to tasty treats from Africa, China, Italy, Mexico and beyond there is sure to be something for everyone.   

Other highlights on the day include live performances, DJ sets, family drumming, rangoli and goddess-inspired jewellery-making workshops, incense sampling, sari draping demonstrations and talks and tours at National Maritime Museum and Old Royal Naval College. Full details in Notes to Editors.

Councillor Denise Hyland, Cabinet Member for Inclusive Economy, Business and Skills, said: “This year, Diwali celebrations in Royal Greenwich will be bigger and brighter than ever as part of the Council’s commitment to invest in a thriving evening-time economy with support from the Mayor of London’s High Streets For All Challenge (HSFA). A well-managed evening and night-time economy will play a pivotal role in driving economic and social recovery and boosting the profile of Royal Greenwich. 

“We’re really pleased to have secured this HSFA funding and to be working with partners including GCDA, Old Royal Naval College, National Maritime Museum, Visit Greenwich and so many of our local businesses and market traders to bring forward an innovative Greenwich Town Centre high street vision, which will reinvigorate our high streets after 6pm for the benefit of businesses, residents and visitors”. 

Councillor Adel Khaireh, Cabinet Member for Equality, Culture and Communities, said:  

“Diwali is a joy to celebrate, and I encourage you all to get involved! 

“We want to ensure that a wide range of evening-time activities is available for our diverse communities, and evening-time eateries play a really important role in this. I, for one, look forward to sampling some delicious street food at the Clocktower and Old Royal Naval College pop-up markets. We are delighted that with the Mayor of London’s High Streets for All Challenge funding, we will have further support for our local traders and food entrepreneurs to keep everyone – from residents, local workers and visitors - well-fed and energised later into the evening”. 

 Join the conversation and share your photos, videos and thoughts on the day #GMTDiwali


The Mayor of London’s High Streets for All Challenge (HSFA)

The High Streets for All Challenge invited local partnerships from every London borough to bring forward and co-design innovative high street recovery strategies and proposals. Each strategy addresses common and local challenges and underpin the public re-imagining of high streets and town centres across London. Strategies can support actions across an entire high street, or focus on an innovative exemplar high street recovery project.

Royal Greenwich HSFA project partners:

Royal Borough of Greenwich, Visit Greenwich, GCDA, Royal Museums Greenwich, Old Royal Naval College


Full programme of events at National Maritime Museum

Full programme of events at Old Royal Naval College

A full list of food traders on the day:

Old Royal Naval College

Chef Yogis (modern Indian vegan cuisine)

Ustick (youtiao – Chinese fried dough)

Tapas Bravas (paella and tapas)

Filili (momos)

Maame Ts Kitchen (African)

Mont Orrubiu (risotto)

Chai Junction (chai & kathi rolls)

Joy’s Caribbean Fusion (vegan Caribbean)

Freewheelin Pizza (pizza)

Clocktower Market

Delice (crepes, waffles,coffee)

Rap n Rol (burritos)

Pizza Squad (pizza)

Lalu (West African)

*All of the traders are signed up to the Good Food in Greenwich Charter, a pledge to grow, sell and cook healthy, environmentally-friendly food.