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Happy Diwali

Diwali is the five-day festival of lights, celebrated by millions of Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and some Buddhists across the world. This year Diwali begins on Thursday 12 November, with the main day of celebrations taking place on Saturday 14 November.

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Floating Diwali flower installation at Canary Wharf.

The word Diwali comes from the Sanskrit word deepavali, meaning "rows of lighted lamps". It is a festival of new beginnings and the triumph of good over evil, light over darkness, and knowledge over ignorance. Stretching beyond cultures and religions, Diwali celebrates the vision of oneness and of unity in the midst of diversity.

Even though Diwali celebrations are going to look very different this year, we hope that you can celebrate from home, and virtually with your friends and loved ones. Here’s some ideas to celebrate Diwali 2020.

Digital Diwalis

In London, the annual Diwali on Trafalgar Square celebration moves online this year with performances and activities as part of the annual free event. 

Greenwich's National Maritime Museum is also hosting a free online Diwali event including 'magical stories about light' from Peter Chand, a British Indian storyteller. Find out more.

Hosting the "biggest Diwali celebrations outside of India", Leicester will be switching on their lights along the city’s golden mile by electronic timer instead of in person. Find out more.

Outdoor celebrations

Tate Britain is unveiling a new outdoor installation by artist Chila Kumari Singh Burman to coincide with Diwali, for its annual Winter Commission this year. This new piece will be a combination of 'Bollywood and Hollywood', where 'glitter and bling will meet in a celebration of brilliant neon light and swirling colour'.

An easy stroll or bus ride from campus, the fountains in Jubilee Park at Canary Wharf host a striking floating flower installation inspired by the artwork of rangoli, where patterns are created using colourful powder.

Diwali DIY

Here are some easy Diwali decoration ideas that you could use to light up and decorate your home during the festivities.

Greenwich’s National Maritime Museum also shares craft activities from artist Meera Chauda to celebrate the festival of light. Make a rangoli decoration or a Diwali lantern.

Indulge your sweet tooth

Desserts and Diwali go hand in hand. Traditionally called mithai, sweets are enjoyed as a small gesture of joy. Why not try to make your own sweet treats to enjoy throughout the celebrations.

We wish those observing the festival this year a very safe and healthy Diwali!