Diwali is a beautiful festival of light and joy, celebrated by many Hindus. However due to these unprecedented times that the Pandemic has brought - families all around the world are celebrating it a little differently this year.   

Diwali is the biggest and the brightest of all Hindu festivals - it is commonly referred to as the festival of lights since a lot of the celebrations involve big, bold displays of light and colour.  

Diwali is one of the main stories in Hindu mythology: it is the day Lord Rama, his wife Sita return to their homeland for the first time in 14 years - after defeating the demon king Ravana. The villagers all welcomed Lord Rama by lighting the path home, with thousands of candles, as an act of gratitude.  

However, the joy of Diwali spreads beyond the myths of Hinduism; it is also celebrated by Jains, Sikhs and Buddhists as well. It brings millions of families together for big celebrations filled with lots of fireworks, dancing and food. In countries such as England it is often celebrated with the local Indian community and for me it is definitely a time I look forward to every year because it means I get to spend time with the people I love and immerse myself in my beautiful culture which, as a first-generation immigrant, is not something I get to enjoy often.   

So, it is understandable to say that millions of families were immensely disappointed to not be spending Diwali this year surrounded by loved ones. Gatherings are strictly off-limits in the UK as Diwali occurs during the second lockdown; the Covid-19 restrictions mean that a lot of people will unfortunately be spending this beautiful festival alone this year. We can only hope to spread as much love as possible through zoom calls and other virtual mean of communication in hopes of keeping the festive spirit alive. 

Neha Ravula