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Mayor wishes happy Diwali to those celebrating

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The Mayor of Dudley is wishing a happy Diwali to those celebrating ahead of next week’s festivities.

Diwali is often referred to as the ‘Hindu Festival of Lights’ but it also falls on what is an important day for Sikhs around the world.

Sikhs celebrate Bandi Chhorh Divas, which means ‘Prisoner Release Day’ which happens to be at the same time of year as Diwali, so the two are amalgamated.

Diwali takes place on Thursday November 4. The event also holds special significance for Jains around the world.

Last year people were unable to meet indoors to celebrate Diwali due to government restrictions and although rules are now relaxed, people are still urged to celebrate safely as the number of covid cases remains high across Dudley borough.

Councillor Anne Millward, the Mayor of Dudley, said:

Religious festivals are an important time of year for people to come together and celebrate and many of us will have personally experienced the impact of not being able to be with loved ones and friends at special times last year.
I would like to wish those celebrating a very happy Diwali for next week, please enjoy and stay safe.

It’s safer for people to meet outdoors and to keep their distance if they can. If anyone is feeling unwell or has symptoms of coronavirus they should stay at home and get a PCR test.

People meeting indoors are advised to let fresh air in and consider wearing a face covering in enclosed and crowded spaces. If eating together, remember it’s safer to serve food individually plated and to avoid buffets.

Everyone should continue to take lateral flow tests twice a week and remember regular handwashing.

Councillor Nicolas Barlow, cabinet member for health and adult social care, said:

I too would like to wish everyone a happy Diwali for next week and hope people are able to celebrate in a safe way.
Unfortunately, cases remain high in the borough so it’s important we be considerate of others when getting together.
We’re already asking people to have twice weekly lateral flow tests, but our advice is have a lateral flow test at home before meeting with others outside of your household whether it’s getting together to celebrate Diwali or other occasions such as birthdays and bonfire night.

For the latest information on coronavirus in the borough go to https://www.dudley.gov.uk/coronavirus/

Prisoner Release Day celebrates Guru Hargobind Sahib who was released from Gwalior Prison in India along with 52 princes in 1619. The day is seen as a victory of right over wrong and a tribute to the Guru who saved the lives of the 52 men without violence.

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