They are referred to as one of the most grand Diwali celebrations outside of India and this year the city of Leicester will be marking the festival of lights virtually, in keeping with the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions. It has partnered with spirit and has a whole host of other plans in store to ensure the festive spirit is kept alive, albeit from the safety and comfort of your homes.
Leicester City Council said that with strict measures in place to stop the spread of coronavirus, crowds will not be gathering on Belgrave Road this year for the traditional entertainment and fireworks. But instead Leicester residents and others are being invited to be part of the city’s first virtual “Diwali Day” celebration from the “safety of their homes”.
“We all need to find different ways to celebrate important festivals like Diwali and Christmas this year. Although we can’t meet up with our extended families in person this year, our virtual Diwali celebration will help bring people together for an experience they can share with a family member or a friend – wherever they are in the world,” said Leicester’s Indian-origin Deputy City Mayor, Councillor Piara Singh Clair.
As part of the celebrations for Diwali Day on November 14, 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 portal. People are being encouraged to use their video to wish a friend, or a family member, a Happy Diwali – or they could share their tips for a socially-distanced, yet joyful, Diwali celebration with people around the world.
“We hope that people will enjoy recording their messages, and we look forward to sharing as many of them as possible as part of our Diwali Day programming,” added Singh Clair.
Alongside the video messages, the Day programme will feature music, storytelling and dance – as well as the traditional lighting of the diyas or lamps. And while there will be no fireworks this year, footage of the “spectacular displays” from previous years will be included in the virtual event.
*To get into the Leicester Diwali spirit ahead of Diwali Day,