How to celebrate Diwali at school?
What is Diwali?
Diwali is the most important Hindu festival, celebrated by millions across the world. Diwali is also known as "festival of lights"
Why is Diwali celebrated?
While there are many different versions of stories on why Diwali is celebrated, the two most common are:
Lord Rama returned to Ayodhya with his wife Sita and brother Laxman after 14 years of exile.
Lord Krishna killed daemon Narkasur.
Both stories can be found in the Activities and Stories Diwali 2.0 ebook.
Why should you celebrate Diwali at school?
Diwali, like Christmas, Eid, Hannukah, and many other cultural holidays, is the biggest Hindu festival.
Representing Diwali in front of kids, brings cultural awareness, generates excitement (like they feel for Christmas and Halloween), opens doors to diversity and inclusion and allows our kids to feel seen and represented.
How to celebrate Diwali at school?
Whether you are wearing a full-on ethnic outfit, or a kurta, dress up! Indians are known for colorful and vibrant Indian weddings and lights. So make sure You.Look.Colorful.
Diwali Centerpieces or Table Decor
Depending on time, space and budget, create an attractive Diwali set-up with lights, water activated diyas, a tray or chaabs with gifts, crafts, books, and some Diwali signs, like Diwali Wreath.
Here are some items I use and recommend:
- Diwali Ornaments
- Mini LED lanters
- LED Diwali Diyas
- Water Activated LED Floating Candles
- Desi Diwali Projector
- Wooden Diwali Signs (set of three)
- Rangoli Sand Colors
- Rangoli Stencils
- Diwali Table Runners
This product came up last minute for me, for my own selfish yet practical reasons. My son brings a piece of craft every other day from school Being a mom, I find it had to toss it and I have collected two boxes full of crafts from school. Let's be honest, I am not going to look at it more than a handful of times in my life.
Therefore, I realized, there may be other parents like me who struggle to throw their kids artifacts. Instead, they would want something they can look at year after year as a memory.
Since Christmas was coming up, I quickly realized that we buy milestone and customized ornaments all the time. Why not create a Happy Diwali Ornament that the kids can color or paint, and the parents can hang it on the tree every year, instead of tossing it in a box as "one more craft."
That brought in Diwali Ornaments. The ornaments were customized. The front has the Diya image with Happy Diwali, and the back tells the parents who gifted the ornaments. The year 2022, is also a good indication of when the memory is from.
Read a story
There are lots of books available on Diwali. Pick an age-appropriate book. And emphasize on life values of how good always wins, and there is always light at the end of the tunnel.
Take photo props
Whether its a Happy Diwali sign, a paghri, or a Diwali border. Check school policy before taking pictures.
Using rangoli stencils and colored sand, put them in groups, and have them make rangoli patterns.
This is the fun activity for the kids. Get some blank clay diyas from an Indian store. Or, I have also bought clay "trays" from Walmart garden section. Bring some kid safe water colors or markers and let them go to town with it.
For older kids, make lanterns. Desi Meets Design on Instagram has great instructions and many DIY's to use.
Serve Snacks and Sweets
Diwali is a festival of food, just as much as it is a festival of lights and dress-up. Check school policy and take chocolates, chips, crackers etc.
Remember to be:
Be Bright. Be Fun. And, Be Done!
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I wish you a joyous and colorful Diwali!