North East prepares to celebrate Diwali virtually due to COVID-19

The festival of Diwali is being marked virtually across the North East as coronavirus restrictions keep many from celebrating in person with their loved ones.

With a nationwide lockdown being put in place in England to halt the spread of Covid-19, councils in the region have looked online to provide Diwali celebrations on Saturday.

Newcastle's Hindu temple have been live streaming prayers since the start of lockdown one.

Instead of a packed temple, the congregation will have to watch Diwali prayers on screens this year.

For Diwali, Hindus, Jains, and Sikhs traditionally illuminate their homes and workspaces with candles and lanterns.

One of the most popular festivals in the Hindu calendar, Diwali is celebrated to symbolise the victory of light over darkness, and good over evil.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak lights candles outside 11 Downing Street, London, ahead of Diwali celebrations on Saturday. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire/PA Images

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak lit candles outside 11 Downing Street to mark the festival on Thursday evening.

Meanwhile, public health authorities in the North East were urging everyone to take part in Diwali safely, to help limit the spread of COVID-19.