Diwali at Ellen Melville Centre

Ellen Melville Centre and Auckland Diwali Festival present a programme of free, family friendly Diwali-themed activities in the lead-up to the 2018 festival.

Ellen Melville Centre, 10am – 3pm, Friday, 19 October.


Free, family friendly activities inside Ellen Melville Centre

10am – 3pm, Friday, 19 October, Helen Clark and Marilyn Waring Rooms, free

Have a go at DIY henna or mehndi, learn how to wrap or drape a sari, create rangoli patterns and play interactive digital Hindi language games. 

Plus snacks to sample – sweet mithai treats and savoury namkeen nibbles.


Chalk it up rangoli competition – win $500

9am – 12pm, Friday, 19 October, Freyberg Place, pre-registration required.

Draw a rangoli design in chalk in Freyberg Place, next to Ellen Melville Centre and be in to win $500.

Open to amateur, student and professional artists aged 13 and over but pavement spaces are limited, so you need to register in advance.

Rangoli is an Indian folk art form, where designs are drawn onto the ground, traditionally using coloured powders and embellished with sand, rice, candles or flower petals. The designs can be simple geometric shapes, depict deities or flowers or they can be more elaborate. 

For this competition, the designs will solely be created with chalk (the only medium permitted).
Competition entrants will get 20 jumbo sticks of coloured chalk, a 1.5m² patch of ground and three hours, from 9am-midday, to complete their designs.
The works will be judged on their balance of traditional design and modern influences, alignment to the Diwali Festival themes of lights, family, celebration, colour, and their representation of the relationship between New Zealand and the Indian diaspora. The winner will be announced at 1pm on the day and will win a $500 Prezzy card.

Whether you create rangoli or similar art forms as a family tradition or a hobby, you’re an art or design student, or you make a living from art and design, we’d love you to help us bring a burst of rangoli colour to the heart of the central city. 

Winner announced at 1pm. Competition subject to weather conditions.

Registrations for this competition are now closed

Read the T&C’s here