Reflecting on Diwali

Pooja Argarwal, Dance Artist & Choreographer, reflects on Diwali 2023 

Diwali is a really important celebration in my culture. It is an event that really brings everyone together and is our new year and the start of the Hindu calendar year.  In my hometown of Jaipur we all dress up, do Pujas (the Hindu worship of gods and goddesses), and light up diyas set of firecrackers. Families come together to eat, play games like Antakshari (a singing game). 

Diwali is a 5 day celebration: 

Day 1: Called Dhanteras. We go and buy a small amount of gold which signifies there always being prosperity in house. 

Day 2: Choti Diwali which is a mini version of Diwali.. 

Day 3 is Diwali. Families stay home to await the goddess Lakshmi who celebrates wealth, fortune, power, beauty and prosperity. If we go out and lock the door, she can’t come in! 

Day 4 the day after Diwali we go and visit friends and family. 

Day 5 Bhai Dooj is a day to celebrate siblings. 

This Diwali was extra special for me. My mother celebrated Diwali with her friends like family and danced, which made me really happy.

I have also been involved in lots of Movema projects around Bristol and South Gloucestershire celebrating Diwali. It’s been great sharing my culture with the school children at Redmaids High School and Charborough Road Primary School. I also worked with the World Fusion adult class, who performed at an event for Diwali which was a really special moment. 

It is my second Diwali in the UK and I am so happy that I was able to celebrate as I would at home (without the firecrackers!). It has definitely been a memorable Diwali for me!

See Pooja dancing with World Fusion at Happy Diwali hosted by South Gloucestershire Race Equality Network and Avon Indian Community Association: