What is Diwali?
In Hindu tradition, Diwali honours Lakshmi, the goddess of Wealth and other Diwali legends. It is also referred to as the festival of lights and celebrates the victory of good over evil, light over darkness and knowledge over ignorance.
When is Diwali?
Diwali is a five-day festival tied into the Hindu calendar that typically takes place between mid-October and mid-November, beginning on Sunday 30 October - Thursday 3 November 2016 .
What do people do during Diwali?
Practices and observances throughout Diwali vary considerably.
Lamps are lit to help Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, find her way into people's homes.
The festival is also associated with large firework displays, spring-cleaning the home, wearing new clothes, exchanging gifts and preparing festive meals.
Key workplace considerations
- Diwali observances are unlikely to result in significant requests for flexibility and leave in the same way as other major religious festivals do, but whilst there is no legal requirement to accommodate such requests, arranging and planning any such requests early on can be appreciated.
- Awareness and understanding of Diwali and other religious festivals can be aided by posting information on staff notice boards or newsletters etc.
- Diwali may offer an opportunity for closer team relations and teamwork- for example, by sharing in a celebratory meal or hosting a team fashion competition.