Liquor ban in force at Auckland Diwali

Liquor ban in force at Auckland Diwali

Celebrations in CBD on October 12 and 13, 2019
Venkat Raman
Auckland, October 1, 2019

Thousands of people gather at Auckland Diwali (File Photo of Diwali 2017)

The Auckland City District Police have issued a statement that ban on liquor will be strictly enforced during the Diwali festivities in the Central Business District.

Auckland Diwali, organised by Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development (ATEED), a Council Controlled Organisation and other agencies will be held at the Aotea Square on Saturday, October 12 and Sunday, October 13, 2019.

Parts of Queen Street near Aotea Centre will be closed to allow an array of food stalls and pedestrian traffic, while the Aotea Square will set the stage for entertainment programmes on both days.

Safety a priority

Senior Sergeant Kylie Newton said that the Police are keen to ensure that people enjoy the celebrations with their families and friends.

“We want all of you to ‘Be Safe and Feel Safe.’ Diwali is a celebration of Indian Culture, Food and Heritage,” he said.

“Auckland Diwali is being held in a family-friendly, liquor ban area. This means persons arriving with alcohol may be turned away, fined or even arrested. Intoxicated persons will be asked to leave or may be removed,” Newton said.

Diwali events are always free of alcohol and non-vegetarian food.

Strictly Vegetarian

Auckland Diwali will feature, as done over the past 16 years, food stalls that sell only vegetarian snacks, meals and sweets.

As a traditional Hindu observance, Diwali, also known as ‘Festival of Lights,’ is a five-day long Festival in India, incorporating ‘Naraka Chaturdashi’ on the second day.

According to the Hindu belief, Narakasura, a demon, was killed on this day by Lord Krishna (an Avatar of Lord Vishnu), Satyabhama (the daughter of Yadava King Satrajit) and Kali, the Goddess of Power and Strength.

Celebrations worldwide

Men, women and children wear new clothes and celebrate Diwali with family and friends. The Festival is also marked in Arab Gulf countries with Ministers, commercial banks and others hosting ‘Open Homes’ spreading out vegetarian food and sweets.

Diwali is declared as a National Holiday in India and many other countries including Malaysia, Singapore, Mauritius, Myanmar, Nepal and Fiji.

Although not a Public Holiday in New Zealand, the Festival is widely celebrated in major cities attracting tens of thousands of people of all ethnicities.

“So join me in celebrating Diwali, leave the alcohol at home and together we’ll make the celebration a great success,” Newton said.

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