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Gail S Hennessey's picture
Gail Skroback Hennessey taught for over 33 years, teaching sixth grade in all but two years. She earned a BA in early secondary education with a concentration in social studies and an MST in social...
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Happy Diwali 2014!

The 2014 Diwali, or Deepavali, celebration begins on October 23 and lasts for 5 days.

It's a happy time of year, and is the biggest holiday in the country of India. Practiced mainly by people of the Hindu faith, many other people enjoy taking part in the festive holiday season too. The word Deepawali means "festival of lights". During the holiday, there is gift giving, the lighting of lamps (Dipa lamps), special sweet treats including Laddus (sweet wheat balls with nuts and fruits inside), and Karanjis (flour fried dumplings with coconut and sugar), praying, getting together with family and friends, and fireworks to help welcome in a new year. President Barack Obama was the first president to participate in a Deepavali celebration in the White House in 2009.


Make a Rangoli- Using colored rice flour and water, people decorate patterns on the ground outside their homes and place of worship. It's a way to honor the Hindu goddess Lakshimi and hope the goddess feels welcome in their homes. Use colored markers and create a colorful Rangoli pattern. 

Make a Dipa Lamp- Usually made from clay, they are traditionally the size to hold in the palm of the hand. Make sure you make a small depression in the center to hold a votive candle. You can paint your lamp purple, yellow, blue or red and decorate it with colorful sequins. Dipa lamps are lit and placed in the water. Legend says if the dipa lamp makes it across the water to the other side, a wish will be granted by the Hindu goddess Lakshimi.

Other countries which have Diwali celebrations include: Australia, Guyana, Trinidad, Nepal (called Tihar), Singapore, Japan, Thailand (called Lam Kriyongh) and the United States.


Learn more about Diwali at these links:


Learn about India at these links: