There will be no mass display of lighted deyas in Felicity this year on Divali night. Celebrations on Cacandee Road, normally a hub of activity for Divali, will be cancelled this year.
The event, that usually brings villagers together to decorate miles of Felicity streets with lighted deyas on bent bamboo, has not been immune to the effects of covid19.
President of the Felicity North Improvement Committee Ganesh Ragoonanan said, "We plan to cancel the actual light-up because of the restrictions. We have been doing this for 31 years.
"This year would have been 32."
He said, because of the restrictions, the usual participants did not want to risk spread of the virus.
"It has dampened the spirits of the people in this part of Felicity (Lower). We want to stay within the guidelines of the health regulations."
Ragoonanan said, in the past, a large number of people contributed to the staging of the celebration.
"Years gone by, it was about 31 groups in the Chaguanas West constituency that came together. Felicity had about ten groups. We got funding the first year only and it has since boiled down to just a few (groups)."
He said, though the remaining groups now raised their own funds, their "passion and love for the culture," had kept the display going until now.
Ragoonanan is also the president of the Felicity Ganesh Utsav Festivals Committee (FGUFC) which sees about the Ganesh Chaturthi Festival and treasurer of the Shri Krishen Chowtal group.
Divali is the largest Hindu festival in TT and takes place in the month of Karthik (October-November) on the Hindu calendar. It is said to be the darkest night of the year and pays homage to the Goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of light, wealth and prosperity. It will be celebrated on November 14.
Speaking as president of the FGUFC, Ragoonanan said, "Usually we have a big celebration (Ganesh Chaturthi) at the Young Stars Recreation Grounds but, once again, because of health regulations, we had it in a smaller version at my home. We had to roster people to come and do their offering. We normally take the murti back to the river but we couldn't do that this year. So, we took a 5,000-gallon tank and emerged the murti in it. The festival went down really nice."
The festival is marked with the installation of Ganesh clay idols privately in homes, or publicly on elaborate pandals. It was celebrated from August 22 to September 1.
For Divali, although the Felicity groups will not be creating a community lighting display, residents will be doing their personal lighting and cleaning as is the custom.