Diwali, also known as “Deepavali”, takes place on Saturday 14 November and is one of the major religious festivals in Hinduism. The name is derived from the Sanskrit term dipavali, meaning “row of lights,” which are lit on the new moon night to invite the presence of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth.
In India and across the globe, people celebrate Diwali with great devotion and enthusiasm as it marks the end of Hindu calendar year. Diwali celebrations last for five days, the fourth day marks the start of the New Year where people pray to Lakshmi for prosperity in the new year. This religious festival signifies victory of good over evil, and the triumph of light over darkness.
At the same time as Diwali, Sikhs celebrate Bandhi Chhor Diwas to mark the release of the 6th Guru Hargobind Singh Ji from Prison in 1619 by lighting the Golden Temple. The story is such that Guru Hargobind Singh Ji held the condition that the 52 Princes also held captive were to be released with him. The Emperor agreed on the condition those who could hold onto his cloak tail would be allowed to leave the prison, therefore he made a cloak with 52 strings which led to their freedom.
To celebrate Bandhi Chhor Diwas, Sikhs visit the Gurdwara (Temple) to attend prayers and to light diyas and candles. At home, diyas are also lit and people celebrate with food and fireworks. The festival symbolises the triumph of right over wrong and the selfless act of Guru Hargobind Singh Ji.
The mandala art in the header was created by Mohanapriyaa Murukesan. ”Mandala” is a Sanskrit word that means “circle”. A mandala is an abstract design circular in form, from which a pattern of decorative and meaningful symbols, shapes and forms emanate.
Celebrate with us
We are getting you in the mood courtesy of some tasty recipes from our employees, which you can try out from the comfort of your own home. Here’s a taster:
Gajar Halwa (Carrot Dessert)
By San Mahadevan
Carrot Pudding is a classic Indian dessert dishes, cooked by many households. It also makes a presence during many festive and special occasions including Diwali. It is mostly made during the winters owing to availability of fresh carrots. My mum used to make it at home very often and in particular during the winters and Diwali. For me Diwali is incomplete without this delicious sweet treat. It is not the easiest to make but the effort it all worth it in the end I promise!
Ingredients (serves 4)
- 5-6 medium sized juicy carrots (or 650grams)
- 2 cups full fat organic milk
- 2-3 tbsp ghee
- 6-8 tbsp organic unrefined cane sugar (or regular sugar), to taste
- 1/3 – 1 tsp cardamom powder
- 6-8 whole cashews, chopped
- 6-8 almonds, sliced or chopped
- 6-7 tbsp raisins
- 4-5 saffron strands (optional)
- Rinse, peel and then grate the carrots (you need approximately 4.5 cups grated carrots)
- In a deep, thick bottomed pan, combine the milk and grated carrots
- On a low to medium heat, bring the mixture to the boil then simmer
- While the mixture is simmering on a low flame, keep stirring
- The grated carrots will cook in the milk and will start to reduce
- When the milk has reduced by about 75%, add the ghee, sugar and cardamom
- Stir well and continue to simmer on a low flame, keep stirring
- Towards the end, add the cashews, almonds, saffron and raisins
- Simmer the halwa until all the milk has evaporated
- Serve Gajar Halwa hot or warm. Garnish with some chopped dry fruits while serving to friends and family!
We have plenty more recipes so do get in touch if you’d like to see more. And if you’re interested in learning more about Diwali, or indeed how your digital advertising operations function can be transformed, get in touch.