Diwali also known as the Hindu festival of light will be celebrated by thousands of people across the country and world this month. We reached out to some of our doctors in the UK to find out what their plans are to celebrate in the UK.
When is Diwali 2021?
This year, Diwali will be celebrated on Thursday 4th November. Diwali is one of the most awaited and biggest festivals in India. It is celebrated across the globe, but its original roots are found in India.
Diwali is officially celebrated within a span of 5 days. This year the five days of Diwali are in November:
- Dhanteras: 2 November 2021
- Choti Diwali: 3 November 2021
- Diwali: 4 November 2021
- Padwa: 5 November 2021
- Bhai dhuj: 6 November 2021
Why do we celebrate Diwali?
Diwali literally means ‘a row of lights’. It is a time filled with love and light, a time when Indians all over the world rejoice. It is the darkest night of the darkest period, yet it is a celebration of light!
There are many interpretations of the meaning of Diwali, its symbols, rituals, and why it is celebrated. In the Ramayan, people learn of Lord Rama’s glorious and long-awaited return to his Kingdom of Ayodhya and people celebrated when he was released from exile after fourteen years in the forests.
Many people consider that Diwali marks the start of their new year, enabling them to make a fresh start and new beginnings.
Spiritually the most important part of Diwali is to worship Maha Lakshmi. Lakshmi is the goddess of wealth and prosperity. People will pray to her and ask for her blessings. The pooja ritual is performed in the evening. This is when diyas of clay are lit to drive away the shadows of evil spirits. Bhajans (religious songs) are sung in praise of the goddess.
How do Indians celebrate each day of Diwali?
All the houses in the street are decorated with beautiful lights and the doorsteps are adorned by beautiful Rangoli designs.
- The first day is called ‘Dhanteras’ – which is held on the 2nd November. On this day, it is a tradition to buy gold or silver or something precious. Dhanteras is celebrated to worship Lord Dhanvantri, father of medicine and Ayurveda. It’s a day to pray for our families and friends for the best of health of everyone.
- The second day, ‘Choti Diwali’ is held on the 3rd November. On this day, people gather with their families and decorate their houses.
- The third and main day of celebration is called ‘Diwali’. It is celebrated by conducting Laxmi and Ganesh pujan. This Pujan is supposed to bring in health, wealth, peace and luck within the family. This night is full of fireworks, feasts and Indian sweets.
- The fourth day is called ‘Padwa’. Padwa is celebrated on the 5th November and on this day spouses exchange gifts.
- The fifth day ‘ Bhai dhuj ‘ is a special day to celebrate the bond between a brother and sister. This festival ensures joy and harmony among all, it’s all filled with laughter and family bonding.
Where can we celebrate Diwali in the UK?
Diwali is celebrated all over the UK with many events. One of the main events in London is the Diwali festival which is celebrated in Trafalgar Square in London. This event usually attracts around 35,000 people.
Northwest London has a very large Indian community and doctors find that they can build a great community around the area. There’s usually a large firework display in Wembley and Harrow where many doctors celebrate Diwali.
What our team in India are doing to celebrate Diwali
Our NHS recruitment specialists in India celebrate Diwali each year. Sana, our Managing Director of our India office will be hosting a special prayer to invoke the blessings of Goddess Laxmi, the goddess of prosperity. This will be to bless Remedium’s continued success in our crusade to support the NHS. The prayer will be followed by an office lunch party, where all the team will be traditionally dressed and will be indulging in special savoury food and sweets.
What our team in London are doing to celebrate Diwali
Ashly, our A&E divisional Manager at Remedium is organising a special party to celebrate Diwali. She is bringing in traditional Indian sweets for the team to try, she is putting together a music playlist and we will also be lighting sparklers in our office garden area.
What our NHS doctors told us about celebrating Diwali in the UK
Dr Kumar, one of the doctors we placed in a hospital near Manchester said ‘This year I’ll be celebrating at the Wythenshawe Forum. There’s a great Indian community near my hospital. I’ve always given sweets to our neighbours and friends in India and I’m eagerly hoping to also do it here in the UK. There will probably be some fireworks too.’
Another Doctor, Dr Muddana said “There is a huge Indian community in Harrow where we celebrate often. There’s no particular plan this year for Diwali, however, we will meet for Pooja and dinner.”
The NHS is committed to diversity and inclusion in the workforce. As a medical recruitment company we assist with this by hiring from all around the world. If you’re an Indian doctor wondering what it’s like to work as a doctor in the UK, we would be happy to have a chat! You can register your details via our online form. We look forward to hearing from you.