The festival of Diwali is coming up on October 31st. Here’s how to help your employees who celebrate mark the festival.  

What is Diwali?

Diwali is not only the biggest festival in India; it is celebrated by millions of Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and Newar Buddhists around the world! The festival is often associated with Lakshmi, goddess of prosperity, but different regions of India and religions observe other deities as well. 

Diwali is a five-day festival of lights symbolizing the spiritual victory of good over evil, light over dark, and knowledge over ignorance. It is a time for introspection, prayer and celebration. 

The third day of Diwali, Lakshmi Puja, is the main day of the festival and is a holiday in about a dozen countries. On this day, families celebrate by wearing their best outfits, performing ceremonies of worship, sharing a family feast, and lighting candles, lanterns and fireworks.

Traditions of Diwali

Here are some of the ways people around the world celebrate Diwali:

  • Leading up to the festival people clean and decorate their homes, workplaces and public spaces with diya (oil lamps made from clay), lanterns or candles. This is to mark an auspicious beginning for the next year. 
  • People celebrate by making decorations on the floor called rangoli (patterns that are filled with colored powders made of rice or sand and decorated with flowers).
  • Communities get together for parades, fireworks, music and dance. 
  • Families gather together to feast, share mithai (sweet treats) and give gifts.
  • Families celebrate the bonds between husband and wife, brothers and sisters, and young family members and their elders.

What this means for your employees

As Diwali is celebrated in a variety of ways, some employees may request to take time off for the holiday. Where possible, please seek to accommodate their request. The India office will be closed on October 24th. 

Share your best wishes for Diwali

While “Happy Diwali” will definitely do the trick, try one of these recommendations from Times of India if you want to send out a special message of best wishes for Diwali:

  • This Diwali may your life be as colorful and bright as the lights of Diwali. Joy and gaiety surround you and your family forever. Happy Diwali!
  • May the light of the diyas guide you toward the way of wealth and prosperity. Happy Diwali!
  • May these illuminating Diwali lights surround you and your loved ones with happiness and positivity. Happy Diwali!
  • May the Diwali lights brighten your life and Rangoli add more colors to it. Have a blessed Diwali!
  • This Diwali, illuminate your life, home, and surroundings with lights and colors. Have a safe and happy Diwali!

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