If you have Indian neighbors, you have probably already seen them stringing lights around their house, as Diwali approaches. Diwali is a very popular festival celebrated all over India, and Indians residing around the world. It is also the Hindu New Year for some Indians, and is generally celebrated as a 3-5 day festival, just like Christmas or Thanksgiving. It helps us Indians spread over the world to imbibe our values and traditions to the next generation. Help your kids understand their heritage, and share with them stories and crafts which will help them learn this in a fun way.
What is Diwali
There are several interpretation of why this festival is celebrated. Diwali or Deepawali means an array of lights. It is a festival of lights symbolizing victory of good over evil and the glory of light. Diwali is celebrated as the day that Lord Rama (the Good) returned to Ayodhyaa after defeating the demon called Ravana(the Evil), who had kidnapped Sita, Lord Rama’s wife. Diwali also signifies the Indian Harvest Festival. If you are interested in knowing more about this festival, read this Essay on Importance of Diwali and Its Celebrations.
Before I start baking Halloween Treats and planning the Thanksgiving dinner, my focus is on the Diwali celebrations that have already begun all around. I have already shared several Diwali Recipes with you, but this year, I thought about sharing some cool Diwali crafts that you can do with your kids, especially the ones that I plan to do with my daughter! Most of these amazing crafts are safe and not-too messy, and require minimal adult supervision. With simple stuff like, glue, paper, colors, flowers and tea-lights or diyas, I will walk you through some ideas that you all can enjoy as a family!
Diwali Crafts & Activities
Make Your Own Diwali Cards
Making your own cards is not only a fun project to do, but it also brings a big smile on the face of the recipient. In this world of eCards, take some time to help your kid understand the importance of personalization. Work with them on creating Diwali Greeting Cards for at least a few members in the family. Choose colored cards and print them, then help them personalize it with a message. or choose B/W cards for older kids who like to color and let them dabble themselves. Here are some nice Diwali Card templates that you can use, courtesy of ActivityVillage
Diwali Diyas Card Template (pictured below)
Diwali Card Rangoli Design
Make a Diwali Diya (Paper Craft)
Diwali is known as the festival of lights; you light Diyas (candles) and place them all around your house so it wipes away the darkness and fills your life and house with the light of prosperity. Take a little time to explain this beautiful concept to your kids, and help them make their own Diyas. Follow these links to help your kids with this colorful art project:
Make Tea-Light Candle Holders
Make your own votive or tea-light candle holders using simple Terra-cotta mini pots. Just go to a Dollar store and get the plastic pots that you use for planting seeds, and let your kids decorate them with acrylic colors, making Diwali patterns. Use these to put your tea-lights in, so you can make your own Diyas at home.
Make Diwali Lanterns
Making lanterns is one of my cherished Diwali memories. Every year in school, we used to make paper lanterns using colorful paper, then decorate them with sparkles and glitter, and hang it at the front of our house, with a diya in the middle. I simply loved the adoration when people visited us and my parents proudly said that Mansi made this lantern:) Let your kids revel in the same glory.
For a professional-quality lantern, follow these instructions at eHow:
How to make a Diiwali Lantern
For a simpler, more kid-friendly version, follow this link:
Kid-friendly Diwali Hanging Lantern
Felt Paper Wall or Door Hangings
Using colorful felt paper or construction paper form Art & Craft stores, cut out Diwali themed shapes or designs, Diyas, Flower patterns, Rangoli patterns, or just a simple Happy Diwali message; use this with a simple thread a push-pin to make your own wall decor or welcome signs.
Make a Flower Rangoli
Rangoli is a colorful pattern that you make at your doorstep to please Goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. It is traditional to see beautiful Rangoli patterns adorning the entrances to every household in India during this time. Engage your kids in this cherished tradition. To make it fun, safe and easy, use flowers instead of Rangoli colors, especially if you have younger kids. Make simple but colorful patterns and decorate it with tea-light candles to create lovely patterns that will impress your guests.
Remember, the importance of all these festivals and celebrations is to inculcate your cultural values in the next generation. These are gifts that have been passed on to us by our ancestors, and it is our responsibility to keep them alive. Help your kids understand their culture and heritage in a fun and safe way. Hope these ideas about Diwali crafts and celebrations help you celebrate Diwali in a beautiful traditional way.