The Diwali Festival is being celebrated this week by many Hindus, wherever they are living. It is a wonderful, colourful celebration often called The Festival of Lights. Lamps, candles, fairly lights and similar are lit in houses all around the world. The light is showing the triumph of good over evil. Very like Christmas, other people of other religions often celebrate it too!
KidsKonnect has a booklet of information and worksheets all about the Diwali festival. If you are a subscriber then you can download and edit it; if not, then you can download the free pdf version to use in class. There are eleven different worksheets on the theme, looking at all aspects of the festival.
There are five days of celebrations and unlike Christmas, where people often go to church, gifts are given , everyone dresses up and eats special food and have sweets – very specific things happen on each of the five days:
- “In northern and western India, the five-day festival starts with dhanteras where houses and businesses are decorated and renovated. Women and children decorate entrances with rangoli design while men do external lighting.
- It is also a major shopping day for everyone, especially for gold and silver items.
- Day two is called Narak Chaturdashi or Choti Diwali, which is started with early-morning religious rituals followed by festivities. In some regions, special bathing rituals and hand henna designs for women are observed.
- Lakshmi Puja is the third day of Diwali and is also the main festive day. Hindus wear their best clothes, diyas in houses are lit while some are set adrift on bodies of water. Mothers are recognized during this day for their hard work.
- Rangoli is an art form that originated in India. These colourful floor patterns are usually created in living rooms and courtyards. During Diwali, women and children usually do this on house entrances.
- The fourth day is called Padwa and is ritually celebrated to honour the devotion of husband and wife.
- The last day is known as Bhai Duj, which celebrates the sister-brother relationship. It observes the lifelong bond of siblings through prayers, food-sharing and gift-giving.” (KidsKonnect)