Celebrate Diwali safely

11 November 2020

Diwali, the festival of lights, will be celebrated from 12-16 November by Hindus, Sikhs and Jains across the world and in Brent.

It’s normally a time when families, friends and neighbours come together, however this year it will need to be celebrated differently to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The government has introduced new restrictions which are in place until at least 2 December, meaning that people must stay at home except for specific reasons.

The new rules mean that places of worship can only stay open for individual prayer, however in the interest of public safety, all temples in Brent have decided to close for Diwali.

You also cannot meet socially with family or friends that are not part of your household or support bubble. A household means anyone who usually lives together under the same roof and share facilities.

Any family members who do not normally live with you (and are not part of your support bubble), need to be treated as a separate household.

We know this means traditional Diwali celebrations will be different this year, but there are still plenty of ways you can mark the occasion safely.

Tips for celebrating Diwali safely

  • Check to see if your local temple has Diwali prayers or worship online that you can join
  • Make a card for loved ones and post it or surprise them with a phone call
  • Cook up a feast for those in your household or support bubble
  • Organise a video call with your family and friends who you can’t spend Diwali with in person
  • Decorate your home with bunting, fairy lights, garlands and rangoli decorations
  • Perform the story of Ramayana as a family and record it to share with your loved ones
  • Share kindness – donate to a local food bank or your temple, light a diya in memory of someone or write a letter to residents of a local care home

Councillor Promise Knight, Lead Member for Community Safety and Engagement, said:

“I know these new restrictions will come as a disappointment to many who were looking forward to celebrating Diwali with their loved ones, at a time when we need hope and light more than ever.

“I want to urge residents to carry out smaller celebrations this year, keeping in mind the fact that COVID-19 is still with us and we need to protect those closest to us, especially older family members or those who are clinically vulnerable.

“So please, stay at home, continue to follow the important Hands, Face, Space guidance and if you do develop symptoms of the virus, self-isolate and book a test straight away by calling 020 8937 4440.

“Most importantly – have a happy and safe Diwali!”

Find out more about the latest COVID-19 restrictions in place until at least 2 December.