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
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).
Ideas for Workplaces:
To recognise this event…
As Diwali is on a Saturday, start the celebrations the day before (Friday) if you are in a weekday-only workplace. Get creative; lay Indian-inspired table cloths, place some pretend (battery-operated) candles in the break room and around the office, and stream some traditional Diwali music via YouTube to get everyone in the spirit. Don’t stop there; hold a delicious shared lunch with Indian delicacies – order in or make your own!