Week 9 - Divali (Diwali)

LIGHT .... we are approaching the darkest time of the year. Evenings are growing darker and in unlit areas a small torch or key light is helpful to find your way home.

Light is the theme of a religious festival called Divali (also spelt Diwali), which is often known as ‘the festival of lights’. It’s celebrated by those of Hindu faith in the month of Kartika (our October/November). It is held on the darkest night of the month, the night of the new moon, when the moon can’t be seen in the sky. (The date changes each year. It’s often around our half term but is later this year.)
 

Divali is a joyful occasion for the Hindu faith.  The celebrations include: 

Families clean and decorate their homes in preparation. 
Streets and buildings are decorated with lights. 
Cards are sent and gifts exchanged. 
Special food and sweets are enjoyed. 
Fireworks are often part of the celebrations.   
Everyone prays for prosperity and good fortune in the days that lie ahead. 
Most especially, small clay lamps (called divas) are lit.
 

The origins of the festival are unclear. There are a number of stories to explain how the festival started. One of the most common is the story of Rama and Sita, which is retold each year during Divali.

 

The story of Diwali

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