Finding light in the darkness during a lockdown Diwali

Diwali, one of the biggest occasions on the Hindu and Sikh calendar. But Covid-19 restrictions mean celebrations cannot take place as normal. Credit: CG Media UK

Diwali, one of the biggest occasions on the Hindu and Sikh calendar, is celebrated by millions of people. It's a time for families to get together, eat great food and to be thankful. 

But with the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, just how will the festival of light be celebrated in 2020?

  • Report by ITV News Meridian's Ravneet Nandra:

Marking the victory of light over darkness. Full of vibrant colours, music, dancing, and lots and lots of food!

Celebrated by Sikhs, Hindus and Jains across the world, congregations typically descend to Gurdwaras and Mandirs lighting candles and fireworks. But, Diwali will be a little quieter this year.

Due to lockdown, large gatherings have been banned and family and friends can't meet.

Temples are closed during lockdown so Diwali celebrations cannot take place as normal Credit: ITV News Meridian

However, many Gurdwaras, like the Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara in Gravesend, Kent, is trying to keep the spirit alive, setting up live streams of prayers online all day. 

  • Sonia Nayyar- member of the congregation:

Who celebrates Diwali?

Hindus celebrate Diwali in honour of warrior prince Rama defeating the demon Ravana. 

Sikhs celebrate Bandi Chhor Divas, commemorating Sri Guru Hargorbind Sahib Ji's release from prison and return to Amritsar in 1619. 

As relatives can't gather at home, there is always one way to send some love...well, sweets of course! You're always spoilt for choice!

Indian sweets are typically gifted during Diwali Credit: ITV News Meridian

Nawal Mithai in Kent has had to adapt through lockdown, at their busiest time of the year. 

  • Raveena Kaler- Nawal Mithai:

How is Diwali celebrated?

Diwali is typically a five day festival, with a big celebration normally on the weekend. Some ways to celebrate are:

  • Spring-cleaning the home

  • Wearing new clothes

  • Exchanging gifts

  • Huge fireworks displays

One new company is encouraging people to cook traditional Indian food online in a bid to bring people together. 

  • Harish Malhi- Founder, Diaspo:

Ravneet even got stuck into some home-cooking herself.

Our reporter Ravneet couldn't help but join one of the cooking classes Credit: ITV News Meridian

The need for festivals has never been more important than now. Even in times of darkness, light is always found.