Similar to other annual celebrations this year, the traditional Diwali celebrations of live music, dancing, fire works and the famous big wheel will not be gracing the Golden Mile. Due to the COVID restrictions and the second national lockdown, many are turning to more contemporary means to celebrate this year. The Leicester Diwali celebrations are famously regarded as some of the best in the country, and one of the largest outside of the Indian subcontinent.
Now that people can no longer meet in large groups, these gatherings that take up Belgrave Road will not be able to take place. Following suit of the recent Navaratri celebrations, groups are organising an online version of the celebration to preserve the spirit of the evening from their own homes.
Visit Leicester have organised one such celebration. Their goal is to help bring people together for a shared experience with their loved ones, no matter where they are. They are encouraging members of the public to send in personal video messages to be included in their hour-long package of entertainment. This show will then be streamed via the Visit Leicester website on Saturday 14 November.
Lots of these videos will also be used in their Diwali Day package, and some will be shared with the community ahead of the celebration via social media. There will also be music, storytelling, dance, and footage of previous years featuring the incredible fireworks displays, to get everyone into the Diwali mood!
Visit Leicester are asking for 30-45 second videos of people wishing friends and loved ones a “Happy Diwali” from Leicester. They also want stories about “what Diwali means to you and how you are celebrating safely this year.”
The messages can be filmed on a mobile phone in landscape format and recorded in English. Email your videos to firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit their website here to find out more about how you can get involved.
By Sam Ellison