Festival of Light
Diwali starts on November 13th in 2012.
Diwali is a five day celebration which occurs on the fifteenth day of the Hindu month of Kartika. The word Diwali means "rows of lighted lamps" and the celebration is often referred to as the Festival of Lights because of the common practice of lighting small oil lamps (called divas) and placing them around the home, in courtyards and in gardens, as well as on roof-tops and outer walls.
During this time, homes are thoroughly cleaned, windows are opened and divas are lit as a greeting to Lakshmi, goddess of wealth. During Diwali, gifts are exchanged and festive meals are prepared.
Resources and Activities for Celebrating Diwali in School
Read the story of Rama and Sita
"A long time ago in India there lived a very old, wise King. The king had three wives and many children. The King's oldest son was called Rama. Rama was strong and handsome, but he did not have a wife ........ "
Read the rest of the story here.
Find out more about Diwali in:
"Festivals Together - A Guide to Multicultural Celebrations"
by Sue Fitzjohn, Minda Weston and Judy Large.
How to wear a sari
Follow these instructions to find out how to wear a sari.
Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum provides a wide rane of workshops for KS1 and KS2, including one on Diwali.
There are many excellent resources avaialble on the internet. We list some of the best ones here:
Here you can find instructions for making diya lamps, rangoli patterns and flower garlands.
This site has a large selection of colourful rangoli patterns.
You can read short illustrated versions of Hindu Stories here.
Information and activities related to the National Curriculum.
A really useful range of links on Diwali.
Many thanks to Kavita Sharma, READS for the Resources and Information on this page.
iRespect.net is an education resource for the development of positive tolerance - find out more...