All of us at the Yorkshire and the Humber Leadership Academy would like to wish our colleagues a Happy Diwali!
Diwali, the ‘festival of lights’, is a five-day celebration which falls during the darkest nights of the Hindu calendar each year, marking the new moon between October and November. It is celebrated by followers of a variety of religions, including Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, and Buddhism.
While Diwali’s significance varies regionally and culturally, it is generally associated with the victory of light over darkness, and good over evil. This is symbolised by the tradition of illuminating homes and public spaces with lanterns, but many communities also include stage performances, parades and firework displays in their festivities. The third day of Diwali, known as Amavasya (new moon day) or Lakshmi Puja, tends to be the most significant of the whole festival, falling this year on the 27th October.
There are a number of important rituals and traditions associated with Diwali, and many people who celebrate it will mark the occasion by spending time with relatives and loved ones, preparing and sharing special festive meals, and making prayers and offerings to deities like Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of prosperity.
There are a number of light-filled events planned across Yorkshire and the Humber and the rest of the nation, but however you decide to celebrate, we wish you a peaceful and happy Diwali 2019.