Coronavirus in Scotland: Nicola Sturgeon sends her best wishes to Scots celebrating a  ‘very different’ and ‘difficult' Diwali tomorrow

At today’s Coronavirus briefing, the First Minister said she hopes faith communities celebrating the beginning of Diwali tomorrow will have a ‘very special time’ despite lockdown restrictions.

Rangoli-inspired installation made of floating flowers is unveiled in the Jubilee Park fountains in Canary Wharf to mark the Hindu festival of Diwali, London.
Rangoli-inspired installation made of floating flowers is unveiled in the Jubilee Park fountains in Canary Wharf to mark the Hindu festival of Diwali, London.

One of the most important Hindu festivals, the Indian festival of lights will begin tomorrow and Ms Sturgeon has wished her best to the Scottish Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist and Jain communities celebrating the five-day long festival.

Diwali symbolises the spiritual "victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance" and is celebrated to honour Rama-chandra, the seventh avatar, incarnation of the god Vishnu.

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In her briefing, the First Minister accepted that ‘we talk less’ about this festival than Christmas and stated it “was very important to recognise the difficulties many are facing at this time.”

The First Minister said: "Tomorrow marks the start of Diwali. I'm very aware that the next five days, Saturday, in particular, are a time of great significance for Scotland’s Hindu and Sikh, Buddhist and Jain communities.

"This will be a very different Diwali from the ones that you are used to. Communities won’t be able to come together as they normally would. You won’t be able to host people in your homes or visit friends and family as you would usually do. You’ll need to celebrate in a different way perhaps by using technology or within guidelines by visiting your place of worship.”

Ms Sturgeon added: “To everyone who is celebrating Diwali, I hope you have a very special time even in these tough circumstances and I hope you know that over the next few days you know you will be in my thoughts and I’m sure in the thoughts of many across the country and thank you for celebrating in a way that keeps you safe, your loved ones safe and the NHS and wider community too.”

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