Cheese & Wine Festival + Diwali

Hi, everyone! I hope you weekend is going well so far!

First of all, I apologize for not updating too much this past week. I was going to do a fun Friday post yesterday, but I needed to finish a huge homework assignment before anything else. Homework was not exactly fun reason for being up until after midnight on a Friday night! 😛

If you’ve been wondering why my recaps of my study abroad trip have been coming less often, it’s because after the first couple of weeks, I stopped taking pictures daily. The initial this-is-so-amazing-I-need-to-take-a-picture-of-everything feeling wore off, and I only started documenting the trip whenever I went somewhere or did something special.

Well, I did two pretty special somethings a year ago:

Cheese & Wine Festival

I started my Saturday afternoon off the right way: cheese! The London Cheese & Wine Festival was being held on Southbank, which is a great central location for doing and seeing things.

The day was gloomy, but not too cold. A nice change from the weather I had been experiencing!

The festival itself was a huge deal. There were booths set up in rows, but because of the amount of people there, I literally couldn’t move!

I  didn’t manage to get too many pictures, because every time my camera clicked, a person walked in the way, but here are a few I did manage to take:

Yum yum yum. I’ve got to say, everywhere in England and Europe (that I went) had such better cheese than us Americans have! I’m not entirely sure why that is – Maybe style of farming? Perhaps its more organic or less processed? – but this stuff was delicious. I sample parmesano reggiano and a creamy cheese whose name I forgot. 😛

The festival spanned a couple of levels of the Southbank Centre, and the food and drinks that were offered in the booths varied by level. The next one that we went to had a whole bunch of homemade goodies. They weren’t allergy-friendly, but still fun to look at.

While there, I bought a homemade cider, which was flavored with ginger. I didn’t enjoy it until a couple of weeks later, but it was very good!

After enjoying the samples at the festival, our group moved on and headed to Trafalgar Square.

Yeah, that’s underwear. Or “pants”, as the British call them. 🙂 I don’t know why they’re there.

How cool is this???

It’s a painting!

Skateboard graveyard?

When we got to Trafalgar Square, we were met by a huge crowd. Why?

Because it was Diwali!

Diwali in Trafalgar Square

Diwali is a “festival of lights” that is celebrated by various religions, including Hinduism, and is a national holiday in India and other countries. It is a festival in which the lighting of lamps (traditionally made of clay) signifies the triumph of good over evil (source). I’m pretty sure the holiday lasts through a couple of weeks, and we got there on one of the first days of celebration.

There was lots of singing and dancing to listen to/watch.

But, because the celebration was going to go on for a few hours, my friends and I took the time to walk around, take pictures, and enjoy the evening.

Trafalgar Square is right in front of the National Gallery, so my friends and I wandered around the inside for a while. I wasn’t allowed to take pictures inside, but how amazing is this “living art”??

Unfortunately, my friends and I did not come on the day they were lighting the lanterns, but we still enjoyed the day, the company, and the celebration, which was so different for all of us!

I hope you enjoyed this recap! Have a fantastic evening! 🙂

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