- examine the foods associated with some belief systems.
- understand the purpose and joy of celebration
- explore special celebrations that we share with others such as birthdays and special days
- begin to explore festivals such as Diwali
Background for teacher: Diwali is a 5 day celebration known as the Festival of Lights. It occurs either in October or November and is primarily associated with the Hindu religion, although it is also celebrated by Sikhs and Jains. There are many mythological explanations for the story but it’s underlying meaning is fairly consistent across all interpretations. It is generally accepted as being a celebration of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance. This is signified by the lighting of ‘diya’ lamps. For many Hindus these clay lamps are also used so that Lakshmi the goddess of wealth can find her way into individual homes. For the same reason windows and doors are often left open.
Write “Diwali” on the board. Explain it comes from a festival called Diwali where Hindus light “diya” lamps. They light lamps to show the defeat of light over darkness. It is a 5 day festival of lights. Explain that people from the Hindu faith also clean their house, have firework displays, wear new clothes and make food for celebrations during Diwali.
Read the story of Rama and Sita at https://www.earlylearninghq.org.uk/earlylearninghq-blog/diwali-teaching-resources/
Have children retell story using a simple 3-act story of start, middle and end. Children can respond through drama or drawing/painting or mixed media.
Can children think of other times that we use lights to celebrate throughout the year? Christmas, Hannukah, Halloween etc
Other teacher resources for teaching this topic:
In addition to these rituals some other common activities during Diwali include:
- Wearing new clothes
- Cleaning the home
- Firework displays
- Preparing festive meals
- Giving sweets as gifts to friends and family
- Decorating buildings with lights