For the year, COVID proved to be a strong party-pooper and will also impact our Diwali festivities. One of the most popularly celebrated festivals in India, Diwali is around the corner and the festivities are not going to be magnificent and elegant this year. As all the festivities have been muted this year in the aftermath of the Coronavirus pandemic, the regular gift exchange meetings with family and colleagues, massive melas, bursting crackers; everything that is synonymous with Diwali and used to take place until last year is not surely going to happen this year. Diwali celebrates the victory of Good over Evil. In retrospect, it seems as if this year has been nothing short of a year of victories, a year when we have not permitted our morale to be shattered by the effects of the pandemic. It was a year that allowed us to find our strengths. As we celebrate this cheerful festival this year, it is important to take precautions because of the outbreak of the pandemic, but let the festival spirit not be dampened. The following are the few ways to celebrate a Safe Diwali amid this pandemic: Maintaining Social Distancing while celebrating the festival with your loved ones - The spirit of any festival is felt the most when we come together to celebrate it together as a family, society and nation. But with physical distance having become the norm, how can we rejoice and protect ourselves from this deadly virus at the same time? Since people have not been able to reach their loved ones as quickly as before, it is becoming the trend to make video calls to communicate with loved ones who are far away. And in this context, Diwali celebrations will not be different, as we will see more and more people using technology this year to enjoy the festivities with loved ones. We can keep ourselves and our loved ones safe by keeping social distancing. Social Distancing, though, does not really indicate that we do not visit our loved ones at all. We can keep the virus from spreading if we practice adequate caution. Gifts - Gifts and gift sets are a Diwali tradition that is evergreen, so why not combine tradition with necessity? You can show your family and friends how much you love them, and what you are doing to keep them safe by adding gifting items such as face masks, air purifiers, immunity enhancing food items, sanitizing items to the gift catalogue this year that will help make our loved ones' lives simpler and better in the new normal. Sweets and Savouries - People have been looking for ways to enhance their immunity since the start of the pandemic. There has certainly been an increase in foods that would make us resistant to contracting the virus. Not just that, you can try gifting/consuming sweets that can enhance our immunity with ingredients such as dry fruits, spices, etc. to increase one's immunity instead of the conventional sweets. Use Sanitizers safely - Before lighting diyas and candles or before bursting crackers, avoid using alcohol-based hand sanitizers. Bottles of sanitizer are popular in homes, and since the Covid-19 pandemic, people have begun to keep it handy. However, since maximum sanitizers are alcohol-based, they can catch fire quickly. So, it becomes very important to put the sanitizer bottles in a secure location. Keep your house clean and surroundings green - In order to protect everyone nearby from this deadly virus, this Diwali not only keep your house safe, but also keep your surroundings clean and green. To keep your surroundings clean and green, plant sapling/trees this will also combat air pollution that is dangerous in metro cities. It is also important to continuously sanitize the house floor, surfaces, door handles, etc, at least twice/thrice a day. Avoid going to crowded places - Do not engage in any large gatherings in open areas that do not have security protocols in place. By holding an event that has not been accepted by the council or the property owner, don't endanger your wellbeing. If you want to attend any gathering, you should make sure that it is safe from COVID and that the safety guidelines given by the organizers of the event is being strictly followed. It is also essential that after prayers/worship, you should not linger long and make sure you do not hug or contact someone outside your residence. Also make sure to have a social-distance of at least 2 meters from others at any place or having a celebration, even if you are in someone’s house. Gratitude - Also, Diwali is a moment when we thank Goddess Lakshmi for all the blessings and ask her to continue to shower us the same. By force, the pandemic has helped us understand the importance of certain things we might have taken for granted. Getting a good outlook may not help us combat the pandemic directly, but it will spread optimism and boost our mental well-being. Conclusion - Diwali is a celebration of togetherness but this year’s Diwali is surely going to be different. It is up to us now that we consciously celebrate Diwali by staying at home and exercising social distancing in all our practices, eliminating the possibility of infection. May the festival of light bring happiness and prosperity to you and your family. Diwali is surely going to be a mood booster and we are all looking forward to it. This year we hope to see the optimistic mindset of people by lighting up and brightening up Diwali even more than the lanterns, diyas, and rangolis. MagnusMinds wishes you a Very Happy Diwali and a Prosperous New Year!