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Marked with firework displays and family feasts, Diwali, is a five-day festival celebrated by millions of people across the world every Autumn.

The festival is observed by Hindus, Sikhs and Jains, with its main theme the triumph of light over darkness and good over evil.

Also known as the festivals of lights, houses are decorated with candles and colourful lights and people share gifts and recite prayers.

What is Diwali?

The festival coincides with Hindu New year and light, seen as a metaphor for self-improvement, represents new beginnings. Each faith has its own reasons to celebrate the festival, however, for many, Diwali celebrates the legend of Lord Rama and his wife Sita returning to their kingdom in northern India from exile after defeating the demon king Ravanna in 15th century BC.

Diwali also pays tribute to Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, and lanterns are lit to guide her into people’s homes.

During the festival, families and friends share sweets and gifts and there is also a strong belief in giving to those in need. It is also traditional for homes to be cleaned and new clothes to be worn.

Indian sweets which come in a range of colours and flavours are also eaten during the celebrations, as well as various rich savoury and sweet dishes.

As we have many Indian families in both Red and Navy Group we have celebrated on both days for each group. We have talked about Diwali, suing the information that Sairams family had given us and have made cards saying happy Diwali, some children even practised writing in Hindu too. How amazing are some of our children and their willingness and eagerness to take part and explore other people’s cultures.

We also made our own Rangoli. The purpose of Rangoli is decoration, and it is thought to bring good luck. Design depictions may also vary as they reflect traditions, folklore, and practices that are unique to each area. It is traditionally done by girls or women. Generally, this practice is showcased during occasions such as festivals, auspicious observances, marriage celebrations and other similar milestones and gatherings. In Nepal, colourful Rangoli are made from dyes and are lit up at night outside people’s homes and businesses and this wasn’t started only when Hindi soap operas began to be broadcast in the country.

Thank you everyone for your active participation and thoughtfulness towards others and their cultures.

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