Leicester Mercury

How festival will shine on


- By ASHA PATEL asha.patel@reachplc.com @ashac_patel

PEOPLE in Leicester are being invited to be part of the city’s first virtual Diwali Day celebratio­n.

It comes after the annual closure of Belgrave Road for the festival of entertainm­ent and fireworks was cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictio­ns.

Instead, Leicester City Council is inviting people to take part in a shared Diwali Day celebratio­n from the safety of their homes.

By sending in personal video messages, members of the public could feature in a special, hour-long package of entertainm­ent that will be streamed on the Visit Leicester website on Diwali Day, Saturday, November 14.

People can use their videos to send special messages to friends and family or share tips for a socially-distanced Diwali celebratio­n with people around the world. Each video, which can be filmed on a mobile phone, should be around 30 to 45 seconds long, shot in a landscape format and recorded in English.

As many of these videos as possible will be used in the online package and some will be shared ahead of the virtual event on the council’s social media platforms.

Deputy city mayor Councillor Piara Singh Clair said: “We all need to find different ways to celebrate important festivals like Diwali and Christmas this year.

“Although we can’t meet up with our extended families in person this year, our virtual Diwali celebratio­n will help bring people together for an experience they can share with a family member or a friend – wherever they are in the world.

“We hope people will enjoy recording their messages, and we look forward to sharing as many of them as possible.”

The Diwali Day programme will also feature music, story-telling, dance and the traditiona­l lighting of diva lamps. And while many will miss the fireworks display this year, footage of the displays will be included in the virtual event which gets under way at 7pm on the Saturday.

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