Diwali celebrated in Goa under COVID shadow

A young businessman performs Laxmi pujan in his shop in Panaji on Saturday, on the occasion of Diwali.



Diwali, the festival of lights, was celebrated across the state with delight and fervour, even as the shadow of the coronavirus loomed large on the celebrations.

The annual festival began with the burning of effigies of the mythical demon Narkasur at dawn, signifying victory of good over evil.

The festival witnessed the Hindu community beginning the day with early morning traditional bath, followed by ‘ovalni’ of the members of the family, which is the customary greetings with lighted lamps, and a feast of delicacies made from ‘fov’ or pounded rice.

Many people visited the temples, which were especially kept open on the occasion of the festival albeit enforcing the COVID guidelines including social distancing.

The temples however did not hold any rituals in commemoration of the annual festival.

Furthermore, no cultural and entertainment programmes were organised around the state in the wake of the ongoing pandemic. The Diwali evening witnessed limited fireworks at a few places, following the Supreme Court and National Green Tribunal restrictions.

Laxmi pujan, the ritual to seek blessings of the deity of prosperity, Goddess Laxmi, was also performed on Saturday especially by the business community ranging from corporate houses to entrepreneurial units to small shops.

Balipratipada, a day celebrated by the tribal communities toiling hard in the agricultural fields and dedicated to the cattle, is on November 15, while bhaubij, the celebration of bond of affection between brother and sister will be celebrated on November 16.