How to Celebrate Diwali in the Workplace

If your organization enjoys celebrating holidays, you might want to add Diwali to your calendar. Celebrating Diwali in the workplace can be a fun way to honor other cultural traditions, which could be a great addition to your DE&I strategy.

Let’s take a closer look at the festival, what is being celebrated and how you can bring elements of Diwali into an office environment.

What does Diwali symbolize?

Before beginning any celebration or tradition, it is important to understand what Diwali represents and why it is celebrated.

  • Diwali is not a single holiday but a major festival that takes place over five days.
  • It started as a festival for Hindus, but over the centuries Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains have found reasons to celebrate at this time.
  • Central to the five days is the recognition and celebration of the victory of good over evil (or light over dark).
  • The festival marks the end of the harvest season in India. As well as the beginning of the new year.
  • Lakshmi Puja is performed during Diwali to “invite prosperity, wealth and goodwill into the home”. Note: Lakshmi is the Hindu goddess of wealth, prosperity and good luck. During Diwali, people take an evening to clean their houses, open their doors and put lights on their windows to invite them in.

Virtual Diwali celebration ideas

Although many employees may find themselves in a remote or hybrid work situation, there are still ways for the company to engage employees in a celebration of this great celebration.

It’s a five-day festival, so the easiest way to engage people is to encourage them to celebrate each day’s “theme”. Here are a few ideas for the days/topics:

day one

  • Celebration Moment —- Gold items are bought to bring happiness in the coming year. Houses are also cleaned in preparation for the festival.
  • Office Activity – Encourage employees to decorate their offices (home or virtual) with gold-colored objects.

day two

  • Celebration Moment – Houses are decorated with clay lamps while colored powders and sand are used to make patterns on the ground.
  • Office Activity – Have your marketing and communications teams create virtual backgrounds with colorful patterns and distribute them for use in virtual meetings that day. It’s an easy way to make the start of the week festive.

day three

  • Celebration Moment – ​​Family connection holds great importance on this day when families gather for prayer and a feast. Fireworks are also set off to drive away evil spirits.

Diwali is also a religious festival and on this day Lakshmi Puja takes place when celebrants invite Goddess Lakshmi into their homes.

  • Office Activity – This is a great day to encourage people to take time outside of meetings to be together. Team meals can be one way to do this. You can host a potluck in the break room or, if everyone is virtual, arrange a time to “eat together” via Zoom or Teams. You could also allow employees to leave an hour earlier to cook a meal with their family.

day four

  • Celebration Moment – ​​Gifts and congratulations are exchanged on this day, which represents the beginning of the New Year.
  • Office Activity – Mugs, notepads, pen sets and other small gifts would be ideal gifts for employees today. Sweet treats are a popular gift throughout the festival and this could be the perfect day to send something to staff.

day five

  • Celebration Moment – The celebration of families continues as brothers visit their married sisters.
  • Office work – Diwali is, at its core, the celebration of light over darkness. Perhaps you can use this final day of the festival to get your staff to embody that ethos by committing to bringing some light into the world through volunteer efforts.

You could do something off-site as a group or something simple together, like B. Create cards for the local children’s hospital that they deliver to patients. And even virtually.

Diwali Games for Large Groups

If you’re able to get a large group together to celebrate, here are some activities you might consider to celebrate this big celebration.

  • Partner with a local pottery studio so anyone can make their own clay lamps.
  • Decorate the office walkways with colorful patterns. Then you can host a contest for Most Colorful, Most Spirited, Most Intricate, and more.
  • Repurpose your Secret Santa lists so employees can exchange small Diwali gifts.
  • Invite members of the local community to play traditional music during breaks, or hire food trucks to bring traditional Diwali dishes to your staff parties.
  • Set up a section in a shared space to honor the festival with information and images that celebrate its legacy.

Let’s celebrate together

Integrating Diwali celebrations into your office is a great way to encourage an inclusive workplace. (It’s also a fun way to learn about other cultures!)

For more free resources and tools to promote DE&I best practices in the workplace, visit Perspectives+. It is Paycor’s online knowledge library designed to help our partner network drive change, empower colleagues and nurture new leaders.

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