Pukaar News – Leicester

Online celebrations for Hindu Festival

Leicester’s largest Navaratri celebrations are going online for the first time ever!

Due to the impact of Covid-19, the organisers of the largest nine-night Hindu festival in Leicester have confirmed this year’s event will be celebrated virtually. 

The festival is observed for different reasons and celebrated differently in various parts of the Indian cultural sphere, often consisting of large-scale gatherings. With the multitude of restrictions in place, the Music Arts team that are behind the event have decided to move the festival online, to ensure the religious festivities could continue so people don’t miss out this year.

Event organiser Meera Majithia, who also runs wedding planning company Carriages Weddings & Events, said: ‘It is devastating because this event is such a huge moment in not just my annual calendar, but so many other people’s! But, it was important to all of us at Music Arts to find a positive outcome and still ensure our regular attendees don’t miss out.’

Navaratri celebrations often draw in large crowds to enjoy dancing and traditional music – Image credit: Kishan Jogia

This year’s event will feature both religious and cultural music presented by a specialist Gujarati music group from Mumbai. This group is usually flown in for the festival but this will not be the case this year. The festival will be taking place from October 17-25 and will be broadcast via Facebook and YouTube. 

Last year’s event was held at the Platinum Suite on Cobden Street. Around 10,000 guests visited the venue over the course of the celebrations. Though Navaratri itself lasts for nine nights, the organisers typically include additional nights of music and dance – as well as a disco dandiya night to attract a younger crowd.   

Meera added: ‘Our musicians are extremely excited to take part in the virtual event as it’s a new concept for them too! We’re always trying to do something different and come up with different ideas. For example, we were the first organisation that introduced the disco dandiya night to the city.”

For more information, anyone interested in the event can head over to www.musicarts.org.uk and visit the MusicArtsUK Facebook page for regular updates.

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