Wheel of Light returns to Leicester amid virtual Diwali celebrations

by Emily Rooney

Leicester Council is encouraging residents of the city to send in 30-45 second videos wishing people a happy Diwali.

The clips, which should be recorded on a smartphone and only be in English, will be used to form part of an hour-long video created by the council to celebrate Diwali virtually, rather than with the usual celebration on Belgrave Road.

Deputy city mayor Cllr 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 that people will enjoy recording their messages, and we look forward to sharing as many of them as possible as part of our Diwali Day programming.”

Before coronavirus impacted public events that would normally draw crowds, the Diwali celebrations on Belgrave Road, also known as the Golden Mile, were the largest outside of India.

There would be street stalls selling light sticks, fireworks, food, and at the end of Belgrave Road overlooking it all, the Wheel of Light, a huge Ferris wheel that lights up the celebrations.

The Wheel of Light will still be running this year, but with stringent temperature checks and adherence to social distancing.

Masks must be worn when queuing, and only one household or support bubble will be allowed in each pod of the ride.

As well as this, there will be NHS track and trace QR codes to scan before getting on the ride, and manual track and trace forms for people to fill in if they do not have the app.

Email submission for videos to be included in the video event can be sent to diwali@leicester.gov.uk

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