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Last Updated: Saturday, 21 October 2006, 13:48 GMT 14:48 UK
Thousands celebrate Diwali event
Diwali celebrations in Leicester
Diwali celebrations in Leicester are some of the biggest outside India
Thousands of people gathered in Leicester on Saturday evening to mark Diwali in one of the biggest celebrations outside India.

Organisers said a crowd of around 40,000 people turned out to mark the beginning of the lunar New Year.

Councillor Paul Smith, who chairs the Diwali working group, said the Festival of Light was not just for Hindus.

"We've always had a very, very good response from the white community for Diwali," he said.

Meanwhile people in Leicester were warned to be careful with diwa lamps over the Diwali period after a fire on Friday morning at a house on Harewood Street.

It was started by an unattended lamp which ignited a shrine.

Mick Lane of Leicestershire Fire and Rescue said: "Look at the type of candles you've got, look at the type of scenarios in which they're stored and make sure the candles themselves are in a receptacle - that if it was to be knocked over it would cause a flame to hit any of the things that are in the shrines."

Religious festival fire warnings
19 Oct 06 |  South East Wales
Diwali event attracts thousands
15 Oct 06 |  London


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