What is Diwali and how do we celebrate it here at Barker Ross Head Office?

20 Oct 14:00 by Maja Szmit

What is Diwali and how do we celebrate it here at Barker Ross Head Office?

Diwali is a Hindu holiday celebrated around the world by millions. 

The Festival of Light sees Hindu homes decorated with candles and lights and people sharing gifts - but what is the celebration all about? The date of the festival is calculated according to the position of the moon and the Hindu lunar calendar and is usually in October or November. This means the date of Diwali changes each year. This year the main date for it is 19th October and the celebrations continue for five days. Diwali is observed by Hindus, Sikhs and Jains around the world and is often celebrated by street parties and fireworks.

There are three team members in our Barker Ross Head Office that celebrate Diwali: Bobby Sharma our IT ninja, Priya Kotecha and Rajvinder Kaur our Credit Control superwomen. So yesterday the conversations were all about the food, family and celebration.

Bobby will be celebrating it by going down to London and spending the weekend with his family and friends, enjoying traditional food (including loads of Indian sweets!) and of course setting off lots of fireworks. This is what he is mostly excited about, apart from seeing his family of course!

Rajvinder is staying in Leicester. Yesterday, she went out to Gurdwara and lit candles then enjoyed the fireworks. She is actually very quiet today. It could be to do with eating so much traditional Indian food last night!

Priya started celebrating Diwali yesterday and will continue for another 4 days. This is her story of the Diwali celebration, with an explanation of each day’s meaning:

“The first day, Dhanteras, is dedicated to the worship of goddess Lakshmi (the goddess of wealth) This is the day we start decorating the house by putting candles and pretty twinkly lights everywhere. We draw Rangoli patterns outside the house and we also do a little prayer in the evening with some items made of gold.  

Day two marks the day Lord Krishna defeated the demon king who had imprisoned 16,000 daughters of God. We have family come over, as well as the neighbours, for another little prayer. Some Hindu women fast on this day as it is considered auspicious.

On day three, the actual day of Diwali, it is believed that goddess Lakshmi enters the homes of devotees and blesses them with good fortune as well as wealth. We start the day by visiting the temple and lighting Diyas (candles) by the statues of God. All the family normally gather at one house, the women start off in the kitchen making dinner which consists of different sweet and savoury dishes. Once the cooking is complete we normally visit neighbours with gifts and also cover some of the relative’s houses that haven't yet come over. As a family we go over to Melton Road in Leicester to have a wander around the shops and watch the fireworks. To end the day we set off loads more fireworks in the back garden and we eat and eat and eat!

Day four is a New Year’s Day! This day is normally where we take the day to relax after the previous festivities. We eat loads of Diwali food and play games like Monopoly/Articulate/Charades with the whole family.

The fifth day is called Bhai Dooj and is dedicated to the brothers. The brothers and sisters get together. The sisters pray for their brothers to live long lives and the brothers vow to always protect their sisters.”

We hope they will have amazing Diwali celebrations and we wish to all of you that celebrate the Festival of Light, all the best for the future!

The Barker Ross Team.