This article appears in today's Leicester Mercury:
Festival celebrating defeat of evil king draws crowds
Hundreds gathered to watch a villain from Hindu writings being burned as part of a religious celebration.
The Dashera festival, held at Cossington Road recreation ground, in Belgrave, Leicester, last night, marked the defeat of the evil King Ravana by Lord Rama, a form of the god Vishnu.
Each year, the spectacle of the towering effigy being set alight draws masses of people to the park.
The event also included fireworks, fairground rides, music and stage performances.
Mahul Visram, from Oadby, who was there with his daughter Esha and son Mahir, said: "It's been a bit cold this year but it was great fireworks.
"It's a religious celebration, with the burning of the big effigy, but it's also fun."
Esha, 10, said: "I like it because it's a celebration of what our God did to protect us."
Mahir, nine, said: "I really enjoyed it. It's a good celebration and I loved the fireworks."
Rashmi Meghani, from Belgrave, who was there with her husband and son, said: "We don't come every year but it's a nice event for the kids and everyone.
"They celebrate this everywhere in India and here and it's a nice chance to get together and enjoy the dancing, and nice for the dancing groups.
"It's cold but when the fireworks started everyone was really enjoying themselves."
The photo above is from a Dashera 2012 album posted on Facebook by Leicester Festivals & Events.