Diwali, also known as the festival of lights, is one of the major religious festivals in Hinduism, Jainism, and Sikhism.
Each year the date for Diwali changes, but it usually falls between October and November and this year it begins on Thursday November 4.
In India every region has different set traditions for Diwali, but it is usually celebrated with people decorating their homes, buying gifts, having feasts, fireworks and lots of lights and oil lamps being lit on the streets and in people’s homes.
The festival lasts five days, with the third (Saturday November 6) being the most important and the festivity generally symbolises the victory of light over darkness.
If you celebrate Diwali yourself and you want to get your kids involved in the celebrations, or you simply want to educate your child more about the religious festival, here’s 5 fun activities for them to get involved in.
1. Read a story together
Reading is brilliant for bonding with your child. This easy to read picture book follows a young girl called Binny, who wants to talk to her class about Diwali, but struggles to find the words to do so. It’s the perfect way to introduce your little one to the festival of lights and it’s received plenty of five star reviews from parents for it’s beautiful illustrations and simple language.
2. Do a Diwali word search
This is a great educational activity to do alongside your child, as you can both take some time to learn about the keywords associated with the festival as and when you find them. There's plenty of free templates online or you can download this one from thewordsearch.com, which you can then print out.
3. Create a paper lantern
The word ‘Diwali’ actually means ‘rows of lights’ and during the festival people decorate their homes and the streets with lights and oil lamps, which are called diyas. This super easy tutorial by Craftastic shows you how you and your child can make your very own Diwali paper lanterns in less than 10 minutes. All you need is two pieces of coloured A4 paper (if you don’t have coloured you can always colour in two plain sheets), glue, scissors and some sticky tape. They’ll look lovely hung all around your home!
4. Make a rangoli
Rangolis are colourful designs created on the floor near the entrance of a persons home to welcome guests during Diwali. Let your child colour in their own rangoli with one of these free templates. Make sure they use lots of beautiful bright colours. They can either lay them on the floor afterwards or stick them near the entrance of your home.
5. Cook together
Many families and friends enjoy lots of foodie feasts during the five day festival, so why don’t you and your child try cooking up some traditional Diwali food together? You could try making a curry (this recipe is simple and only takes 15 minutes to prepare) or if you fancy something sweeter Mom Junction offers 10 sweet recipes for children that are perfect for Diwali.