Durham University to Host Virtual Festival of Lights

Durham University will host an online festival of lights this Diwali via the Oriental Museum Facebook page on Saturday 14 November.

Families unable to gather as per planned this year are being welcomed to celebrate Diwali digitally this month on their Oriental Museum Facebook page. 

Owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, Durham University has moved its popular annual celebration online, to the Oriental Museums Explore from Home web page.

The festival lineup includes family-friendly craft activities, a re-telling of the timeless tale of Prince Rama and Princess Sita from the Ramayana (Sanskrit epic of ancient India) and video recipes for a vegetarian Indian Thali feast.

In addition to the event on Saturday, a Lakshmi Puja ceremony, traditional prayers to Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth, will be streamed live.

This will take place on the Oriental Museums Facebook page from 7pm and also be available on the University website from Monday 16 November.

Members of the local Indian community are working with museum staff to create the online celebrations.

Quoting one of the residents involved, Deepthi Penukonda told the Northern Echo: It has been a bit of a challenge to make the videos, but a lot of fun too. All the recipes are easy and delicious. I hope people have a go at making their own dishes at home.”

Charlotte Spink, a Learning Assistant at the Oriental Museum, added: This year more than ever we are so grateful to our community and students volunteers who have worked wonders creating so much great online content for people to enjoy at home. I would encourage everyone to try the recipes and activities post their creations on social media.”

Guests are invited to post their own Diwali creations online using #diwali2020 on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

For registration and more information please visit: dur.ac.uk/attractions/explorefromhome/festivals/faith/diwali/

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