We all know that today, Veteran’s Day, is a special American holiday, in which we celebrate and honor veterans who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces. This year, however, November 11 calls for even more celebration for our entire Continuum team because it's also the beginning of Diwali, a festival of physical and spiritual light celebrated in India! We know that Diwali is a holiday celebrated by our many employees in Mumbai, including our Network Operations Center (NOC) technicians, so to shed some extra festive light on this special day, we’ve decided to share a little more about why it’s so significant to us!
Diwali, or Deepavali, which is celebrated on the 15th day of the Hindu month of Kartika, is a festival of lights symbolizing the victory of righteousness and the lifting of evil. The spiritual significance of Diwali is celebrated to mark different historical events, stories or myths which all symbolize the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, and hope over despair. The day is typically spent with friends and family members and includes various festivities such as giving gifts, snacking on sweets and other seasonal specialties, and telling ancient stories. By nighttime, the sky is lit up with candles, lanterns, and fireworks in a wonderful display of celebration. The holiday of Diwali dates back to ancient times in India, and today it is one of the happiest and most popular festivals in the Hindu calendar.
5 Days of Diwali Celebration
The Indian festival of lights is marked by the following days:
Day 1 -Dhanteras (Day of Wealth)
Day 2 - Narak Chaturdashi (Killing of demon Narakasur by Lord Krishna and his consort Satyabhama)
Day 3 - Diwali (Worshipping of Goddess of Wealth – Lakshmi on her birthday)
Day 4 - Padwa & Govardhan Pooja (Day commemorating the first Pooja done by the people of Vraja)
People in various regions of India may celebrate Diwali on different dates or in different ways. Jains celebrate the day as a day on which Lord Mahavir attained nirvana or eternal bliss. Some believe it to be the celebration of the marriage of Lakshmi with Lord Vishnu. Whereas in Bengal, the festival is dedicated to the worship of Mother Kali, the dark goddess of strength.
Despite these differences, however, most festivities include decorating homes and workplaces with colorful lights and candles. Electric lights, small oil lamps and flames are all important symbols of Diwali, because they represent both the physical and spiritual aspects of light. Many people may also go to melas (fairs) that are held in town to buy gifts for themselves or loved ones. The whole day is meant to be celebrated over good company, great food, and high spirits!
Why This Day is Significant for Us
Last month, we highlighted some of our NOC technicians in our NOCtober campaign. Diwali is a special celebration for our whole Mumbai team, so we wanted to provide a deeper understanding of what this day means to them, as well as invite you to join in the festivities.
Light a lamp, sit quietly, shut your eyes, withdraw the senses, concentrate on this supreme light and illuminate the soul.
Meet Lily Teplow! After majoring in Communications and French, Lily graduated from South Carolina's Furman University and now takes on her new role as Content Marketing Associate and Blog Manager at Continuum. In her spare time, Lily enjoys singing, traveling, and cheering on her favorite Boston sports teams!