Owing to the high-risk of COVID-19 community transmission, the Leicester City Council has announced that it will be celebrating major Indian festivals Durga Puja and Diwali virtually this year in the UK. By Amitha Ameen
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The COVID-19 outbreak has deeply affected everyone’s regular routine including the way we celebrate our festivals. The Leicester City Council that is responsible for funding and promoting what is said to be the largest Diwali celebrations outside of India in the UK has announced that this year’s festivities will be different, and the city’s first virtual Diwali celebration at that. The organisers were compelled to make this decision as the threat of the pandemic continues to loom large.
Apart from the Diwali celebrations on the arterial Belgrave Road, the Durga Puja festivities in the famous London Sharad Utsav will also be held virtually this year. And unlike last year, there will be no gathering of people and lighting of fireworks. Instead, people can enjoy the festivities live from the comfort and safety of their homes.
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“Members of the public can send in their personal video messages, which could feature in an hour-long package of entertainment that will be streamed on the Visit Leicester website on Diwali Day – Saturday 14 November,” read a statement from the council (as reported by Hindustan Times).
This year’s Diwali celebrations in the UK will include music, storytelling, and dance. The traditional diya (lamp) lighting will also be conducted. The giant wheel of light will be present this year as well, but those wishing to climb aboard will need to follow strict rules and social distancing guidelines.