UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak lights Diwali 'diyas' on Downing Street doorstep

Screengrab courtesy: Twitter/@RishiSunak
Screengrab courtesy: Twitter/@RishiSunak

United Kingdom's Indian-origin Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak was seen lighting diyas (earthen lamps) outside Number 11 Downing Street, his official residence in London, ahead of the festival of Diwali.

The 50-second clip showed Sunak coming out of his residence and placing four lamps on the doorstep. Sunak's gesture marks a first for Downing Street, which annually sees the UK Prime Minister host a Diwali gathering and an Annakut, or spread of festive food, from London's Swaminarayan Mandir next door at No 10.

Meanwhile, the Diwali celebrations have moved online across the UK as England entered its second stay-at-home lockdown last week.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, in his message during a first-of-its-kind virtual Diwali festival last weekend, had hailed the Diwali spirit of the victory of light over darkness and good over evil.

“I know that celebrating at a distance isn’t easy when you want to get together with all your family or visit your friends or share with them the Diwali fun, as well of course the odd samosa or gulab jamun,” said Johnson in his inaugural address to the iGlobal Diwali Fest 2020.

The three-day virtual Diwali included sessions with UK Home Secretary Priti Patel, Opposition Labour Party Leader Keir Starmer and Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey.

CtoI News Desk
CtoI News Desk – CtoI

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