Every year, Hindus, Sikhs and Jainas all over the world celebrate Diwali. This holiday symbolizes a new beginning, the victory of good over evil, and the victory of light over darkness.
The celebration usually lasts five days and includes gatherings with family, sharing food, watching spectacular fireworks and visiting temples.
Streets, houses, shops, and public buildings are decorated with small clay lamps called “diyas”
This part of the festival recognizes the legend of the Hindu god Lord Rama and returning to his kingdom after fourteen years of exile. The light symbolizes purity, good luck and strength.
Hindus in cities and villages around the world also believe that during Diwali, the Hindu goddess of wealth, Lakshmi, will be illuminated, cleaned and beautifully decorated houses.
Lakshmi puja involves prayer rituals and is an important part of Hinduism. This is the time to thank and pray for a good harvest.
However, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to suspend plans for mass gatherings, and many countries remain under lockdown, this year’s Diwali will be very different for many people.
This is how the holiday will be celebrated globally in 2020.
“It feels very different”
In a normal year, Chadda (back row, all black) spends Diwali surrounded by friends and family.
Offered by Streamline PR
Rahi Chadda, a model, actor and fashion influencer based in London, told CNN Travel that Covid and the current English ban forced him to cancel the plan for the annual Diwali dinner, usually To meet his about 30 friends and family.
England is currently in national lockdown and family meals are forbidden, so Chad will cook for his parents this year.
He explained: “The places of worship are closed, and the tradition of going to temples this year did not really happen.”
Chadda usually likes to buy fireworks and decorate houses before buying Diwali.
He said: “This year, you have no motivation to do it because it is an epidemic and it feels very different.”
Chadda added that the background of Covid also added another impetus to the celebration.
He said: “We may have a happy and safe Diwali in our home, but some people outside may have lost their loved ones recently due to the coronavirus, so it may not be the happiest Diwali for them.”
Chada said that his 2020 celebration will be low-key, but “we just need to appreciate and celebrate its grand occasion.”
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But he is happy to have the opportunity to celebrate, even if this year is relatively low-key.
“I am healthy and my loved ones are by my side. This makes you realize that the celebrations and celebrations over the years have finally taken you for granted to a certain extent. We just need to appreciate and celebrate this kind of occasion. Can’t kill your atmosphere,” he added.
According to research by the global digital payment company WorldRemit, 45% of South Asian communities in the UK have been hoping to go abroad to visit family and friends this weekend, until the travel restrictions imposed by the country’s second wave of coronavirus means that people need to watch home closely.
Ajay Devanarayanan, 22, a student from Devon, England, told CNN Travel that instead of gathering and celebrating together, his family has been sharing hopeful and considerate information through social media group chats.
Devanarayanan said that the conversation revolved around how the true essence of Diwali is to find positivity in the moment and express gratitude for health and happiness. There is no need for large-scale celebrations. The important thing is to cherish the time spent with those around you.
For those celebrating Diwali, social media and video calls are a vital way for people to connect with their loved ones in a Covid-safe way.
Kiran and Sonam, who run the social platform Not Your Wife, have been helping to connect South Asian women in the UK.
Courtesy of Kiran Hothi and Sonam Kaur
“We also run online quizzes for our family and friends. For the older members of our family, we make sure that they are in a support bubble, or we give them serious Zoom training before lock-in.”
“It brings us closer like a family”
Neha Sharma (left) will miss the party this year.
Offered by Neha Sharma
On the other side of the pond in the United States, the 26-year-old dancer Neha Sharma, a dancer in Los Angeles, California, said that she would miss the large parties and firecrackers that usually represent family Diwali celebrations, but she found it here happy. -Family celebrations.
“I will dress up in traditional Indian costumes, make candles, desserts and decorate houses to celebrate the festival of lights at home! Of course there is also FaceTime / Zoom Family.”
Saurav Dutt and the glorious food and drink display.
Offered by Saurav Dutt
The video call celebration of Los Angeles resident Saurav Dutt was quite creative.
He said that family members are sending another recipe in advance, and they will announce their efforts in a conference call.
Reporter and author Dutt said: “We will also organize a special singing game called Antakshari. In this team, there will also be the Bollywood quiz you wrote.”
“This is surprisingly good on Zoom; the children in the family have also created rangoli drawings, which can be judged as needed. We have also established a connection with a specific family in India who will set off fireworks in the large garden.
In Canada, Smita Galbraith, the representative of the citizens of British Columbia, said that she believes that Diwali is the beginning of a new year and a new beginning. This year is no different in this respect, but in other respects, the celebrations are different.
She told CNN Travel: “The plan has definitely changed.” “Usually, we celebrate with family and friends sharing sweets and savoury snacks. We go to friends’ houses and fireworks, and my children and I go to the temple to take photos. Bright diyas and make some interesting rangoli designs outside our house.”
This year, Galbraith just celebrated with her immediate family. She has been making her own snacks and desserts and teaching her daughter how to make them.
This has its own fun.
“My friends have been sharing videos/pictures on WhatsApp. We all inspire each other and create new food together. We will also use fireworks in our backyard and use lightweight diyas around the house!”
For Amal Dave, a fellow Canadian who works at the Royal Bank of Canada in Toronto, Diwali always starts with cleaning his house.
He said: “I usually don’t use the words’celebration’ and’cleanliness’ in the same sentence, but Diwali symbolizes a new beginning and a new beginning.”
This year, he also accepts video calls and virtual greetings.
He said: “We usually go to the temple here for Diwali, but due to the current situation, this is impossible.” “On the contrary, my mother did it at home and almost celebrated with our whole family.
For Dave, the former Divaalis also visited relatives in India and enjoyed big celebrations. But he said that some small-scale alternatives are also unique.
His family usually buys and enjoys many sweets, but this year they switched to making delicious dishes at home.
“[It] Dave said: “It turns out that this is a better experience. As we spend more time with each other, it makes us closer as a family.”
Naomi Canton’s contribution to this article.