PREMIER John Horgan has issued the following statement on the occasion of Diwali, the Festival of Lights:
“Today, we join Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains throughout our province and all around the world to celebrate Diwali and Bandi Chhor Divas.
“During Diwali, known as the Festival of Lights, millions of families will light the Diya and celebrate the triumph of hope over despair and good over evil.
“For those celebrating Bandi Chhor Divas, this is a time to remember importance of freedom in our daily lives. This is also a time of prayer and contemplation, and to reflect on the obligation to help the people around us – especially those less fortunate.
“As we face a second wave of COVID-19 here in B.C., these reflections on the power of knowledge and light are more important than ever. This pandemic has turned our lives upside down and forced all of us to make difficult sacrifices to keep our families and communities safe.
“This year, I urge families to celebrate Diwali at home and only with the people we live with. Instead of the large family celebrations and big festivals we are accustomed to, choose virtual gatherings and online events instead. Celebrating and coming together in new ways will mean slowing the spread of the virus and protecting those most vulnerable, including elders.
“While Diwali and Bandi Chhor Divas will look different this year, it will be no less special for the diverse and vibrant communities that make our province a stronger, better place to call home. On behalf of all British Columbians, I wish everyone celebrating a happy Diwali and Bandi Chhor Divas.”