BOLTON was awash with lights, colour and sound on Saturday as celebrations for Diwali 2019 burst into life.

Hundreds joined the revelry as the festival of light got under way with the first Diwali on the Square event.

The party brought an afternoon of family fun to Victoria Square featuring a spellbinding programme of stage and street entertainment ­— including giant puppets of Hindu Gods and a moving and roaring tiger, as well as live performances of Bollywood, folk, and traditional dance and music.

There were activities such as arts and craft workshops, henna and face painting, lantern making and paper crafts, and stalls selling a range of tasty Indian street foods.

As the sun set, an awe-inspiring torch lit procession with large lantern images made its way to the square from the Market Place before a spectacular artwork display illuminated the town hall. The feast of colour was also shown on Friday evening and was designed by school children and community groups from drawn and painted pieces of art depicting what home means to them.

Diwali is a five-day festival which officially started on Sunday. The festival is celebrated by many religions, including Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists.

There are many practices observed during Diwali symbolising the victory of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance.