Navratri 2020 to miss garba and dandiya events, as per new guidelines issued by CM Uddhav Thackeray for upcoming festivals in Maharashtra. By Tanvi Jain

 

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This year’s Navratri and Dussehra celebrations in Maharashtra won’t witness the usual garba and dandiya nights or any other cultural events, as per the new guidelines issued by the state Chief Minister, Uddhav Thackeray.  

Considering the current pandemic situation, the CM has instead asked the authorities to organise health and blood donation camps, during the nine-day celebrations that are scheduled to kickstart on October 17 this year. 

The guidelines also mention that the festival organisers must spread awareness about diseases, such as malaria, dengue, COVID-19, etc., and the mandals must make sure to take advance permission from the civic body or the local administration 

 

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Moreover, on the likes of Ganeshotsavthe height of the idol of Goddess Durga has also been capped to four feet for public pandals and two feet for private pujas. In order to abide by the social distancing protocol, the government has denied permission to immerse idols at public places, and has advised people to do it either at home or in their societies artificial ponds; that too without any large gatherings. 

“These are the guidelines along the lines of those issued for Ganeshotsav and Bakri Eid. The responsibility of enforcing the restrictions will be on local authorities, including municipal corporations, police and collectors,” an official spokesperson told Hindustan Times. 

Furthermore, thguidelines also suggest that the organisers must encourage online darshan among devotees, and not allow more than five people inside the pandal, that too only after proper thermal screeningsanitisation, and wearing of masks. 

 

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“The traditional Dussehra event of burning the effigy of Raavan should be held observing social distancing norms, without spectators, and in a symbolic manner. Spectators should not be invited. Instead, organisers should arrange for live broadcast through social media platforms like Facebook,” the guidelines as reported by Mumbai Mirror mentioned
 
Further reports suggest, that, while the donations have been kept voluntary, display of advertisements in order to attract crowds, along with serving of food and drinks has been restricted, and people have been asked to go for metal-based idols instead of those made of Plaster of Paris. 

Related: Top 7 Places You Must Check Out For Some Cool Navratri Celebrations In Delhi And Mumbai