With Diwali, Hanuka and Christmas coming up, the Fall is a great time to start making children aware of different religions.
Saturday October 17th is Diwali. Diwali is the Festival of Lights, an important celebration in Hinduism, Sikhism, and Jainism. Celebrations include lighting diyas—cotton string wicks inserted in small clay pots filled with oil—to signify victory of good over the evil within a person. It also marks the end of the harvest in most of India and Nepal. To celebrate Diwali, families wear new clothes and gather to share sweets and snacks. Many will leave all the lights on all night, the belief is that if the light is on, the goddess will visit.
Reading a book is a good introduction. For young children, Lighting a lamp: A Divali Story is a lovely story, with children celebrating Diwali, lighting candles, eating sweets…
Children learn by listening, watching, singing, doing things with their hands so crafting is always an important activities. Diwali cards are easy to make.
Yellow, orange or red A4 card will work well. Depending on their age, you can ask the children to cut the card in half or do it for them. Then fold the cards in half. Draw a simple flame shape in a cup to represent the diyas. Here, the children used a mixture of paint, glitter, glue, glitter glue, crayons, tissue paper and stickers to decorate the flames.
Have a try and let us know how you got on!