Theresa Villiers Member of Parliament for Chipping Barnet has issued the following message for her Sikh, Hindu and Jain constituents celebrating Diwali.
“I would like to send my best wishes to all everyone in my constituency who is celebrating Diwali.
Sadly, like many other religious festivals this year Diwali celebrations have been curtailed by the ongoing Covid emergency. I know that many will be sad that they are unable to join in with the usual communal prayers and gatherings. I do hope that people will be able to enjoy Diwali with friends and loved ones via the electronic methods we have all had to become accustomed to this year.
Beyond the festivities and fun, Diwali is also a time for personal refection on making positive changes for the year ahead. I hope that everyone, regardless of faith or background, can identify with the values unity, charity and forgiveness which are part of the tradition of Diwali. Its message of the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, and good over evil, should resonate with people of all faiths, particularly at this difficult and challenging time.”
Diwali festivities start formally on Thursday and reach their peak on 14th November the ‘day of light’, coming to a close on Monday 16th November.
The festival of Diwali also known as ‘Deepavali’, from the Sanskrit meaning row of lighted lamps’ which light the way home. Diwali is marked by lighting candles and letting off fireworks, recalling the traditional story of people lighting candles to welcome the Lord Rama home from exile.
The photo accompanying this article was taken at a Diwali event in Parliament in 2019 (and therefore before the Covid outbreak and the introduction of social distancing rules).