Deepavali celebrations – Government issues guidelines

ECONOMYNEXT – The Health authorities have issued a set of guidelines to those celebrating the Hindu festival of light – Deepavali – to minimize the possible spread of the Covid 19 virus during the celebration of the triumph of good over evil.

A guideline issued by the Ministry of Health urges devotees to follow the rules and ensure that “no member of your family or community is infected with Covid 19 during the festival.”

Deepavali – or Diwali – is a festival of lights which celebrates the triumph of Ram over Ravana where the God-King returns to the just kingdom with his chaste wife Sita and millions of Hindus across the world including Sri Lanka will light lamps to mark the occasion.

The guidelines issued by the government says Hindus and other celebrants should “ensure that Deepavali should not be a season where even one celebrant should be infected.”

It particularly asks Hindus in the Colombo, Kalutara and other areas where a greater risk of the virus is prevalent not to celebrate in Temples and other crowded places but conduct rituals at home with family members.

“Phone your friends and family members and wish them for the festival rather than go and see them,” the Health Ministry said.

It also cautioned celebrants about using alcohol-based hand sanitizers before lighting the ritual lamps as their hands could catch fire.

The Ministry guideline also suggested that any celebration avoid alcohol consumption or smoking during the festivities.
(Colombo November 12, 2020)

Reported by Arjuna Ranawana

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