22 October 2021 9:02

Diwali, Dushera, Navratri and Karva Chauth: With restrictions in NSW and Victoria, Here’ what you can/can’t do

Restrictions settings changing just a day before Diwali for Victorians but NSW residents are far luckier.

As Hindu festivals seasons starts today with the nine-day long ‘Navratri’ festival, Australia’s third-largest religious community is worried. The festive season is one of the busiest times in the calendar year for Hindu community members, businesses and temples.

However, lockdown and restrictions on movements in COVID19 hit states of Victoria and NSW are worrying for them as they might miss out on the festivities.

Victoria restrictions at the time of festivities:

- Advertisement -

Navratri:
All nine days up to Ashtami and Navami celebrations are to be done within a Home setting with no visitor allowed. There can be no Garba gatherings as no outdoor activity is allowed other than up to 5 fully vaccinated adults meeting in a park or other outdoor settings.

A stay-at-home curfew is in place for Metropolitan Melbourne, Moorabool Shire, City of Greater Shepparton and Mitchell Shire: Between 9:00 pm and 5:00 am, you cannot leave your home.

1- Social gatherings are permitted outdoors between two people from a maximum of two households.
2- Up to five people can socialise outdoors (excluding dependants), from two households, if every person over 18 years is fully vaccinated.

Manoj Mansukhani is National Manager with a multinational company in Melbourne. Every year his two daughters look forward to this time of the year to explore their Hindu identity.

Mr Mansukhani told The Australia Today, “Looks like this year too we are going to miss the festivities the way we know them. My older daughter wants to go to Garba programs and my younger one wants to see ‘Ravan-Dahan’ at Sri Durga Temple.”

“We understand the necessity of these restrictions but all the planning by the governments is around Christmas without even thinking or considering other cultural religious communities needs.”

- Advertisement -

He is not alone a three hundred thousand strong Hindu community (from India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Fiji, Malaysia, Singapore etc.) in Victoria is working out the ways to celebrate their festivals within the guidelines of the state government.

Victoria is expected to reach 70% (16+) fully vaccinated at the current rate on 13th October.

VijayDhasmi – Dussehra on Monday 15 October
Karwa Chauth on Sunday 24th October
Ahoi Ashtami on Thursday 28 October
Dhanteras on Tuesday 2nd November

Metropolitan Melbourne:
1- No Home visit is allowed.
2- Out-Door Public gatherings: Up to 10 fully vaccinated people allowed to meet.
3- Hospitality venues can open outdoors only to up to 50 fully vaccinated people, with DQ4.
4- Religious services will be allowed outdoors only with DQ4 limits and a cap of 50 people if fully vaccinated. 

Regional Victoria:
1- Home visits or Private gatherings not permitted – intimate partner visits and single-person bubble visits are allowed.
2- Out-Door Public gatherings: Up to 20 fully vaccinated people outdoors will be allowed.
3- Religious services will be allowed outdoors only with DQ4 limits and a cap of 50 people if fully vaccinated.

Victoria is expected to reach 80% (16+) fully vaccinated at the current rate on 3rd November after which the following festivals will come.

Melburnians should finally be free to travel anywhere within Victoria.

Choti Diwali- Kali Chaudas on Wednesday 3rd November
Diwali- Laxmi Pooja on Thursday 4th November
Govardhan Pooja on Friday 5th November
Bhaiya Dooj on Saturday 6th November

Metropolitan Melbourne:
1- Home visits allowed: Up to 10 people including dependants. Vaccination status is not mentioned in the roadmap
2- Out-Door Public gatherings: Up to 30 fully vaccinated people are allowed to meet. 

Diwali parties are also a possibility as up to 150 fully vaccinated people will be allowed indoors with DQ4 and 500 outdoors, DQ2 at any hospitality venue.

Regional Victoria:
1- Home visit or Private gatherings permitted: Up to 10 fully vaccinated people including dependants.
2- Out-Door Public gatherings: Up to 30 fully vaccinated people outdoors will be allowed.

NSW restrictions at the time of festivities:

As NSW is currently on: 70.32% fully vaccination level on Navratri
Fully vaccinated NSW residents will be able to enjoy Navratri a bit more from Monday, 11th October.

1- The new changes will allow up to 10 visitors (not counting children 12 and under) to a home.
NSW residents will be allowed to have nine girls for their ‘Kanya pooja for Durga Ashtami (13 October) and Navami (14 October) during Navratri.

2- If you are planning an outdoor gathering you can have up to 30 people for a small Garba celebration.

Bhavna Patel an Architecture student who lives in Sydney’s western suburb told The Australia Today, “We are in talks with our local community centre to organise Garba in parking space from Monday night.”

“At least we can have four Garba night festivities this year. Ma Durga is kind to us as most of my family and friends are fully vaccinated.”

3Hindu weddings can also have up to 100 people (Not counting children 12 and under).  

Bhavana says, “I don’t have any weddings to attend but it’s good for people who have been waiting for months to tie the knot.”

VijayDhasmi – Dussehra on Monday 15 October 2021

The setting for Dussehra will remain the same as Navratri because the state is predicted to hit 80% fully vaccinated status in the next 10 days on October 18.

Karwa Chauth on Sunday 24th October

Women will miss by one day for large gatherings as the new changes will come into force only on the next day.
However, 10 visitors in home settings (Not counting children 12 and under) can celebrate the festival together. In case you can arrange an outdoor facility up to 30 people are allowed to come together.

On Monday 25th October: One week after the State clears the 80% double vaccination hurdle following restrictions will be relaxed for fully vaccinated people only.

Ahoi Ashtmi on Thursday 28 October
Dhanteras on Tuesday 2nd November
Choti Diwali- Kali Chaudas on Wednesday 3rd November
Diwali- Laxmi Pooja on Thursday 4th November
Govardhan Pooja on Friday 5th November
Bhaiya Dooj on Saturday 6th November

1- You will be able to have up to 20 visitors (excluding children 12 and under) to a home.
2- Up to 50 people will be allowed to gather outdoors

For the Diwali Mela organisers, rules have been set.

Up to 3,000 people will be allowed to attend controlled and ticketed outdoor events. Masks will no longer be required in office buildings. 
All these freedoms are for fully vaccinated people only.

All school students will also now return to on-site learning with a range of COVID-safe measures in place by October 25.

Kindergarten, Year 1 and Year 12 students will still return to face-to-face learning on October 18, with all other years now returning one week later on October 25.

NSW’s Premier Dominic Perrottet said the common-sense changes would help life return to normal as soon as possible. 

“Vaccinations are the key to life returning to normal and the changes today will help family and friends reconnect, get kids back to school and get businesses back up and running sooner,”

Mr Perrottet said.

“NSW is putting in the hard yards and it’s important people continue to turn out in droves to be vaccinated.”

If you are not booked in for a COVID-19 vaccine, please book an appointment as soon as possible.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Australia Today News on Patreon!
become a patron button 1
Liked it? Take a second to support The Australia Today News on Patreon!
become a patron button 2
,