Diwali 2020: Here's how Mumbai is celebrating festival amid COVID-19 gloom

Updated: 14 November, 2020 08:22 IST | Sunny Rodricks
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    Amid the COVID-19 crisis, residents from every nook and corner of the city thronged to shopping markets, bazaars and malls to purchase things for the biggest festival of the year.

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    While every year, Diwali is celebrated with friends and family by lighting diyas, bursting crackers and enjoying Diwali sweets and savouries, this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic the festival will be a low-key affair.

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    As Mumbai opened under the Mission Begin Again, residents armed with face mask, hand gloves and hand sanitisers were seen prepping up for the festival as they went about buying garlands, rangoli colours and beautiful lanterns to lit their houses.

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    In picture: Bhajan Samrat Anup Jalota caught in a candid moment during a Diwali photoshoot at his residence in Dadar.

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    Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray urged people to celebrate the festival of lights safely at home and said that he would accept Diwali greetings only through social media and emails. "Corona warriors are working hard to protect us from the pandemic and we shouldn't burden them," Thackeray said in his address to the state.

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    Keeping in mind the COVID-19 crisis, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) announced restrictions on the use of firecrackers and fireworks in the city. The country's richest civic body has permitted the limit of crackers to only sparklers (phuljhadi) and flower pots (anaar) on the evening of Laxmi Pujan.

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    Saying no to Chinese products, Mumbai residents were seen hopping from one shop to another to buy Indian made lanterns and lights. At Dadar, Crawford market and Lalbaug, a sea of people were seen flouting social distancing norms as they went about shopping for Diwali.

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    Although the global pandemic has hit the festival celebrations, it has failed to dampen the festive mood.

    In picture: Women buying jewellery from a stall.

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    In picture: Women armed with face mask buy diyas from a bazaar in Dadar.

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    At Mahim's Kandil Galli - the go-to place to buy paper lanterns in Mumbai, people were seen buying various kinds of homemade lanterns and rangoli colours. Those who couldn't make sweets and savouries at home bought it from home chefs and small business owners.

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    In picture: Customers glare through the variety of lanterns, diyas and stickers at a stall in Kandil Galli.

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    Social distancing norms go for a toss as people throng Kandivli's Gaondevi market in large numbers.

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    A lantern seller shows a customer the variety of lanterns on sale for Diwali at Mahim's Kandil Galli.

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    Adding uniqueness to this year's Diwali celebrations, Lalbaug-based HarshAbhi creations made eco-friendly traditional Paithani saree kandils. As the name suggests, the paithani saree lantern is made from traditional paithani sarees.

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    In picture: Youngsters cross Dadar's Sena Bhavan signal with lanterns made for sale for the Diwali festival.

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    On the eve of Diwali, President Ram Nath Kovind greeted the nation and asked citizens to make a resolve to become a ray of hope and prosperity for the poor, destitute, and needy people of the society. "Diwali is also a festival of cleanliness, so let us honour mother nature by celebrating a pollution-free, environment-friendly and clean Diwali," President Kovind said.

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    In picture: People buy firecrackers at Lalbaug's Khamkar shop in Mumbai.

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    A throwback picture shows people celebrating Diwali at Marine Drive in 2019.

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    People shop in a market in Mahim selling paper lanterns ahead of Diwali. Pic/AFP

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    Mumbai's iconic ground Shivaji Park all decked up to celebrate the festival of lights.

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About The Gallery

Amid the COVID-19 gloom, residents in Mumbai geared up to celebrate Diwali. Armed with face mask, and hand gloves, people took to the streets to buy things for prepping up for the biggest festival of the year. This year, Diwali is going to be different as for the first time the festival will be celebrated mostly indoors. Take a look at how people are celebrating the festival.

(All photos/Ashish Raje, Shadab Khan, Satej Shinde, Suresh Karkera, and Bipin Kokate.

First Published: 14 November, 2020 08:00 IST