Diwali or Deepavali (also known as the festival of lights) is one of the most celebrated festivals in the Hindu calendar. It falls on the day of ‘Amavasya’ or new moon. This year, it will be observed on November 7. It is a 5-day festival and is recognised widely in India and among the Indian diaspora around the world. People from other faiths are welcomed in the festivities. Other faiths (e.g. Jains, Sikhs) have similar festivities over the period too. Diwali is an official holiday in a range of countries such as India, Malaysia, Singapore and Sri Lanka. The festival represents the symbolic victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, and good over evil. It is often celebrated across communities to symbolise unity.
Some NHS hospitals, with a high proportion of staff who recognise the event and a local population that does so too, are recognising the festival this year. Some ward areas at BSUH will also celebrate Diwali. If you have patients in hospital, who recognise Diwali, some may want space to say private prayers.