Diwali, also known as Deepavali or Deepawali, is celebrated on Kartik Amavasya (कार्तिक अमावस्या). Kartik is name of Hindu month and Amavasya means no-moon day. The celebrations usually start two days prior to Diwali and goes for two days after Diwali day. The festival is of significant importance for all communities and religions in Indian subcontinent; specially Hindu, Sikh, Jainism, Buddhism
The occasion two days before is Dhan Teras (धन तेरस) or Dhanvantari Trayodashi which is considered auspicious to buy precious metal like Gold or Silver. This is a practice followed by Indian community introduced by the ancestors which was a way of saving for the future.
On Diwali, people meet and greet their extended family, neighbors and friends. They clean and decorate their house with Rangoli (रंगोली) colorful Diyas (दिया / दिपक), lanterns and lights, to Welcome Mahalaxmi, the Goddess of Wealth and offer prayers. Main prayer is held in the evening and known as Laxmi Puja (लक्ष्मी पूजा) offering prayers to the Goddess of Wealth. Another is Chopda Puja (चोपडा पूजा) where business community pray for better Business for the coming year and worship the Account Books. ‘ Chopda’ means books of accounts. Bandi Chhor Divas (ਬੰਦੀ ਛੋੜ ਦਿਵਸ / बंदी छोड दिवस / Day of liberation) is celebrated with Diwali. It is day to mark return of Guru Hargobind Ji (श्री गुरू हरगोबिन्द जी)
Next day of Diwali is celebrated as Goverdhan Puja (गोवर्धन पूजा) and Annakut (अन्नकूट) and also as the new year in Gujarat. This day community prays to Lord Krishna and prepare variety of feast at home.
Third day of Diwali is celebrated as Bhai Dooj (भाई दूज) which is celebrated by brothers and sisters. The sisters pray for long life and happiness of their brothers and in return brothers gift their sisters. The Marathi language translation of this festival is Bhau Beej (भाऊ बीज).
Ideas for Workplaces:
To recognise this event…
Diwali Festivals are very popular across New Zealand. Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch Diwali Festivals are few of 1-2 day long festivals attended by people from all communities and religions. Unfortunately many of these events have been cancelled and/or moved to an online format due to Covid19, however there are still many ways you can recognise Diwali within your workplace. Set the mood with some beautiful traditional Diwali music to have on as you work and then have a shared lunch, trying some of the vegetarian recipes HERE!