Rishi Sunak lights candles in Downing Street for Diwali

UK Chancellor encourages families to meet up virtually

UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak lit candles outside Number 11 Downing Street on Thursday night to mark the start of Diwali.

Mr Sunak, a practicing Hindu, encouraged families to meet up virtually this weekend as England remains in lockdown.

Diwali, a five-day festival of lights, is celebrated by millions of Hindus, Sikhs and Jains around the world.

This year it began on Thursday, with the main day of celebrations taking place on Saturday.

Lamps and candles are traditionally lit at the doors and windows of homes.

Mr Sunak acknowledged this year’s Diwali would be different.

But he told the BBC: “We’re going to get through this. And it’s going to be so much better on the other side.”