Celebrating Diwali in 2020

You can still celebrate in lockdown!

Diwali - the Festival of Lights - is a five day celebration which coincides with harvest and new year celebrations! It is a festival of new beginnings and the triumph of good over evil, and light over darkness. Just the kind of celebration needed during Lockdown 2.0. And like many events over the past year, we’re celebrating a little differently.

This year, Diwali begins on Thursday 12th November, lasting for five days, with the main day of celebration on Saturday 14th November.

The five days are:
Dhanteras - Day of Fortune 
Naraka Chaturdashi - Day of Knowledge 
Diwali - Day of Light - festivities peak day 
Annakut - New Year 
Bhai Dooj - Day of love between siblings

You can of course connect with your family and friends over video chat, but there are other ways you can celebrate and observe this holiday from the comfort of your own home!

Clean - and decorate!
It may not be the most exciting thing to do, a good clean and tidy up of your Uni room and house is good for your mental health. Diwali is about inviting Lord Ganesha (the remover of obstacles) and Lakshmi (the goddess of wealth) into your home. Many believe they only grace clean and well-decorated spaces. So crack out the duster and the hoover, and make your space beautiful. Fairy lights, lanterns, and things that make you feel GOOD. 

Here are some crafty ideas to keep you occupied whilst you’re in lockdown!

As always Pinterest is full of fun ideas and inspiration for celebrating!

A YouTube playlist with some really lovely homemade crafts you can make!
(Please do of course be very careful if you try any of the homemade candle or lantern makes - never leave any candles or burning items unattended)

Treat yourself - and others!
We all know that little buzz or serotonin you get when you click ‘pay now’ as you endlessly scroll your favourite shops online, but now you can shop guilt free! The third day of Diwali (when most of the celebrations happen) is a great time to buy some gifts, for your friends, loved ones, and for you! The idea is if you buy something that day, it will bring a lot of prosperity in life. 

You could always get crafty and make gifts for friends and family as well - here are a variety of cute homemade presents you can create for the people you love.

Check out your Totum card for great discounts too! Win win.

Sweet treats!
Desserts and Diwali go hand in hand, so ready your sweet tooth to indulge a little! You can try your hand at making some classic Diwali sweets - whilst in lockdown it is the perfect time to try! 
How about these Coconut Chocolate Ladoo from Season 10 Bake Off contestant Helena?
Or some Kaju Katli that only takes 20 minutes?
Or Nariyal Burfi which only needs a microwave and fridge? Honestly my mouth is watering already!

Check out some more recipes here: 

Virtual Celebrations
Like many events, things will be moving online, so you don’t have to feel like you are missing out! Check out these digital events you can attend: 

Bright Lights, Lockdown city!
Leave the lights on and welcome Ganesha and Lakshmi into your home. Make sure you light it up - lamps, candles, lanterns, fairy lights, string lights - whatever you’ve got! It’s a great symbolic activity everyone can take part in. A light in the darkness to help us all through this tough time. Let's all light up Portsmouth and turn on your lights as it gets darker on November 14th!

Many students have felt forgotten about in the latest Government restrictions, especially with the emphasis on Christmas. We at the Union want to make sure you feel heard and listened to, and so we will be celebrating alongside you. We want to make sure you have a safe, and bright, Diwali!

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