13 Best Diwali Celebration Ideas For Work

By: | Updated: January 25, 2023

Here is our list of the best Diwali celebration ideas for work.

Diwali celebration ideas for work are creative and fun activities that employees can use to celebrate Diwali at the workplace. Examples include Henna painting, traditional wear contests, and office decorations. These activities aim to foster good work relationships and encourage camaraderie in the workplace.

These ideas are examples of team celebrations, diversity activities, and culture-building ideas.


This list includes:

  • Diwali activities for adults
  • Diwali competition ideas
  • Diwali celebration ideas for work meetings
  • Diwali work party ideas

Here we go!

List of Diwali celebration ideas for work

From Musical Chairs to Office Decorations to Talent Shows, here is a list of Diwali celebration ideas for work.

1. Office Decorations

Diwali is a Festival of Lights, and decorating for this festival requires lots of lighting. You can achieve this effect by using lamps, LED lights, wall designs, and electric diyas, a type of candle. Then, use these ornaments to decorate employees’ work cubicles, hallways, and the office entrance.

To decorate your office for the Diwali festival, get decorations like balloons, LED lights, paper lanterns, and flower garlands. Next, encourage employees to decorate their cubicles or work spaces with these lights. The employees can also work together to hang up balloons and paper lanterns around the workplace. Decorating the office encourages teamwork. Plus, these special touches will make the workplace more cheery and boost team members’ moods!

2. Traditional Wear Contest

Traditional wear contests are Diwali competition ideas that employees can partake in during the Diwali festival. Employees will dress up in their best traditional Indian attire.

Female employees may choose to dress in a Sari, Churidar, or a Chagra choli, while male employees may choose to dress in Sherwanis, Achkan, or Dhoti. If your employees are unfamiliar with the cultural attire, then you can invite an Indian stylist or clothesmaker to give teammates a lesson and help them get dressed. If there are many employees, each office department will choose a representative to stand in for them in the contest. Then, you will choose the best-dressed male and female employees. You may also choose to give fun awards like “the most creative attire,” “the most bejeweled,” or “the best headpiece.”

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3. Diwali Buffets

Diwali buffets are great Diwali activities for adults. The buffet is an excellent way for employees to explore native Indian dishes and familiarize themselves with Indian culture.

To organize the Diwali buffet:

  1. Order dishes like chana masala, chicken tikka masala, stuffed paratha, or fish curry from any local Indian restaurant.
  2. Arrange these meals in several bowls on a large table with some beverages.
  3. Play traditional Indian songs over a loudspeaker as the employees prepare for the buffet.
  4. The employees can then explore and taste a variety of Indian delicacies.
  5. You can also serve drinks like sugarcane juice, masala chai, mango lassi, and paneer soda.

Most Indians believe that food tastes much better when eaten by hand. Therefore, encourage employees to explore this tradition by eating native Indian foods without utensils.

4. Henna 

Henna, or mehndi, as it is often called in Indian culture, is a paste believed to bring good luck and positive spirits. To celebrate Diwali at the office, you can encourage female employees to get henna designs on their hands or feet.

This art has been a common practice for women in India for centuries. For this event, you will need a professional henna artist who can draw lovely patterns with the henna paste. Each female employee will choose a pattern for their hands or feet.

If there are a lot of female employees, you can call more than one henna artist to do the job. This measure ensures that the Diwali celebration at work isn’t a time-consuming activity but a fun activity that the female employees experience together. You can also ensure that traditional Indian music plays while the female employees get their Henna tattoos done.

Note: While henna is traditionally done on women, to be more inclusive, you can allow any interested employees to participate in the fun!

5. Photo Booth

Diwali is a time to celebrate friends and loved ones and an even better time to create memories. You can create a photo booth in the office for employees to take pictures with their colleagues and work friends.

To make this experience even better, you can decorate the photo booth and paste a graphic design of the year of celebration on the wall. This date will appear in every picture taken in the photo booth as a reminder of the Diwali celebrations to employees. Some other props you may need to decorate the photo booth include flowers, strings of light, balloons, or a neon sign spelling Diwali.

6. Make a Rangoli Pattern

The Rangoli is a beautiful Indian doll art that symbolizes positivity, happiness, and prosperity. You can draw the rangoli in various colors using materials like fry rice flour, powdered limestone, colored sand, flower petals, quartz powder, and colored rocks.

You can draw the Rangoli pattern on the office floor or at the entrance. In addition, you can encourage employees to work together to create a lovely pattern.

To make a Rangoli pattern at the office:

  1. Gather supplies needed to draw the Rangoli, such as rice flour, beans, lentils, or colored sand in different shades.
  2. The employees will agree on a pattern to draw, for example, a flower.
  3. The employees will use the materials to create dots and lines on the floor to outline whatever pattern they choose to draw.
  4. The employees will then fill this outline using different colors of sand, beans, lentils, or rice flour.
  5. The employees can work together in teams to fill in different parts of the art so that each teammate plays an active role in the process.
  6. The Rangoli is usually designed from the inside out, starting small until the pattern grows.

This activity will help employees appreciate the Indian culture and learn how to draw the Rangoli. Drawing the Rangoli also encourages teamwork and builds friendships among employees. After the Diwali festival, you can sweep away the design.

7. Gift Exchange Programs

Gift exchange programs are great Diwali celebration ideas for work meetings. Exchanging gifts in the workplace still allows for the office’s day-to-day activities while celebrating the Diwali festival.

For the gift exchange program, encourage employees to get gifts for each other. This activity requires that every member of the team gets a gift.

Some great gift ideas include:

  • Chocolates
  • flower bouquets
  • soft toys
  • Indian sweets and snacks

Employees can get gifts for more than one colleague to ensure that all the teammates receive a token of the Diwali celebration. You can turn this gift exchange program into a small ceremony where the employees will exchange gifts amidst hugs and good wishes. Work can resume as normal after this activity, or you can turn it into a full-blown event with music and decorations.

8. Talent Show

Talent shows are fun activities that employees can take part in during the Diwali festival. This activity allows employees to interact, have fun and relieve stress.

To organize a talent show:

  1. Encourage employees to take part in the talent show.
  2. Employees can choose to sing, dance, draw, paint, cook or show off any exceptional talent they think they might have.
  3. Choose a panel of judges to oversee the event.
  4. The employees will get 30 minutes each to perform.
  5. The judges will shortlist the top six acts after each participant finishes their performance.
  6. The top three acts will win the show and get prizes.

To make the talent show even more fun, you can encourage employees to center their performances around the Diwali festival. Employees can sing an Indian song, perform a Bollywood dance, cook a native Indian meal, or draw and paint a Rangoli. This event will foster good employee work relationships and ensure that employees have a great time during the Diwali festival.

Here are more employee talent show ideas.

9. Musical Chairs Rangoli

The musical chairs Rangoli is an exciting activity that challenges employees to be creative. For this activity, you will need a set of painting materials such as pencils, watercolors, paint, and a drawing board.

To play:

  1. Arrange up to ten seats and desks in a circle. Each employee will get a drawing board and a set of painting materials.
  2. The employees will seat at the arranged tables and draw a Rangoli as the music plays over a loudspeaker.
  3. The music will stop randomly, and the employees have to leave their seats and move to the next seat to continue the painting from where the previous occupant stopped.
  4. The music will continue to play and stop at random times, and. Employees continue moving seats, adding to whatever drawing they find themselves in.
  5. Anyone unable to move to the next seat before the music starts again will get removed from the game.
  6. You will remove the seats and drawing boards previously occupied by all removed participants.
  7. The coworkers will continue to rush to fill in seats as the music stops randomly. Anyone caught unseated when the music continues will get removed from the game.
  8. This activity will continue until there are only two players.
  9. The first player to finish the Rangoli before the music stops again wins.

This event is exciting and will give the employees a good laugh. This game is also a memorable event as the employees get to carry home their unfinished or completed drawings. The experience is even more exciting when the players realize that their teammates or coworkers contributed to the art in one way or the other.

10. Dance Fest

Dancing is an important part of Indian culture and a huge part of the Diwali festival. Therefore, you can organize a dance fest in the office for employees. Dance fest is a fun activity that all employees can enjoy regardless of skill levels.

To organize this event, employ traditional Indian dancers to show your employees a couple of steps. As you play some native Indian songs over a loudspeaker, allow the employees to show off their skills as they move their bodies in sync with the beat. To make this event even more exciting, you can turn it into a competition, and the best dancer will go home with a prize. Dance fests are great Diwali work party ideas because they encourage folks at the office to loosen up, engage and have fun.

Here are more team building dance tips.

11. Diwali Game Day

Game days are days dedicated to playing many games. You can use this event to celebrate the Diwali festival. This activity allows employees to interact and engage during the Diwali celebrations

You can organize activities like board games, card games, or tug of war. You can also combine a set of games into one with a prize at the end for teams or groups to win. You can break these activities into stages. The teams must work together to pass the first stage before moving on to another.

To play:

  1. Get a strong, long rope or tie the ends of two bedsheets together.
  2. Split the employees into male and female teams.
  3. The male and female employees will stand on each end of the rope.
  4. You will draw a line in the middle of both teams and whichever team succeeds in pulling the other over the line wins.
  5. The teams will also run in races or complete a set of card or board games during this event.
  6. At the end of the games, the teams will get prizes for each game they win.

The employees can play in groups of three or play in male and female groups, as long as the exercise does not put any of the teams at a disadvantage. This activity allows employees to work together and develop ideas to help the teams win. These activities also allow employees to develop good friendships at work. To make this event even more memorable, take pictures of each activity during the event and hang them around the office.

12. Share Sweets

The Diwali celebration is a time to appreciate the sweet things in life. Friends and families share sweets during this time. You can bring this tradition to the office to show employees that you appreciate and value them.

You can share traditional Indian sweets like kaju katli, gulab jamun or Rasmalai. Another great idea is to arrange these sweets into small packages, which you will share with each employee. You will find these sweets in any local Indian restaurant. To make this activity more engaging and fun, you can take the employees to a luncheon at local Indian restaurants where they can enjoy these desserts. The Indian restaurant setting will help the employees connect better with the culture and see how native Indians celebrate the Diwali festival within their homes or businesses.

13. Firework Show

Since Diwali is the Festival of Lights, it is often celebrated with fireworks. You can organize a firework show for your employees after work to celebrate the Diwali festival. This activity will create a positive atmosphere for employees and allow employees to interact and engage.

Another alternative is to use confetti poppers, laser lights, or sparklers. Then, you can share drinks with the employees during or after the show to complete this event.


Diwali celebration ideas for work are activities that employees can use to celebrate the Diwali festival at work. These ideas include games, parties, and other events that employees can enjoy to commemorate the Diwali festival.

These activities include a Diwali Game Day, Musical Chairs Rangoli, and a Talent Show. These activities help to promote an inclusive work environment, build work relationships and encourage teamwork.

For more seasonal fun, check out Thanksgiving team building ideas and holiday team building ideas.

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FAQ: Diwali celebration ideas for work

Here are answers to questions about Diwali celebration ideas for work.

What is Diwali?

Diwali is one of the most celebrated and important holidays of the year in India. Diwali is a celebration of light that commemorates the defeat of the evil spirit Ravannah and the victorious return of Rama.

Diwali is a five-day celebration that includes large feasts, and fireworks, illuminating the interior and exterior of homes and businesses. It also allows folks to share sweets, and make Rangoli patterns at the entrance or on the floor of homes and businesses.

What are some good Diwali celebration ideas for work?

Some good Diwali celebration ideas for work include Diwali Buffets, Office decorations, and Diwali Game days.

How do you celebrate Diwali in the office?

You can celebrate Diwali in the office by organizing events that foster teamwork and help employees appreciate Indian culture.

Activities such as henna design for women or creating a Rangoli pattern will help employees understand how Indians celebrate the Diwali festival. These celebrations also help employees appreciate Indian culture and understand why Diwali is an important holiday.

Author avatar


People & Culture Director at teambuilding.com.
Grace is the Director of People & Culture at teambuilding.com. She studied Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University, Information Science at East China Normal University and earned an MBA at Washington State University.


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