Hindus celebrate the Diwali Festival of Lights to recognise the goddess Lakshmi's victory over evil and many other feats by Hindu deities. Diwali's candles and revelry invite children into play and worship. When the Indian month of Ashwin comes in October and November, engage children in the festive ways Indian and Hindu cultures honour family and their religious beliefs.
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Children and other Diwali revellers look resplendent in the glow of Diwali lamplights. Create a sense of anticipation for the visit of the goddess Lakshmi in children with new clothes. Give children colourful clothing in which to play and worship during this glittering holiday. Let new clothing contrast with old attire as good contrasts with evil and light contrasts with darkness throughout Diwali festivities.
For all of its earthly enjoyment, Diwali remains a spiritual festival with significant meaning for Hindus. Children can participate in a Diwali puja -- worship -- ceremony. Gather the family after sunset on Diwali evening to prepare your home for Lakshmi's visit. Children can help clean the puja space and help bathe the images of Lakshmi and Ganesha. Show children how to provide prashad -- sacred food offerings, flowers and lights.
As the family expresses reverence for Lord Ganesha and Lakshmi with songs, feasting and explosive Diwali crackers, children gain a sense of their Hindu heritage and their familial commitment to spiritual life.
Diwali celebrates the actions of Hindu deities and saints. Children can interact with Hindu legends to make the ancient tales come alive on small stages and in their imagination. Encourage children to perform the story of the goddess Kali's triumph over evil. Assemble family and friends to watch as helpless inhabitants of a long-ago world plead with the goddess Devi to save them from evil demons and ogres who ravaged the world. Children enjoy playing Devi, who becomes the goddess Kali, who almost destroys the world in her rage against evil.
Diwali Greeting Cards
Diwali offers many ways to share the festival excitement. Children may enjoy making homemade Diwali greeting cards out of paper, fabric scraps and deity images. Make a greeting card to portray the open window through which Lakshmi enters homes, bringing prosperity. Use a photograph of the family gathered inside the open window or use an image of the goddess positioned just outside the inviting window. Children can write a festive greeting, such as "Happy Diwali! Let your happiness shine like a diya." Encourage children to give family and friends their homemade Diwali creations.
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