Some of our children celebrated Diwali or Deepawali recently. This is ‘The Festival of Lights’ and it symbolises the spiritual “victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance”.
We learned that people celebrating Diwali might draw Goddess Lakshmi’s footprints at the entrance of their house pointing inwards. These footprints always used to be drawn using white rice or rice flour paste and vermillion, but sometimes now people use stickers or paint. In the baby room we had templates of a footprint and used glitter and paint to decorate them.
For Diwali celebrations, we made our own diyas, which is an oil lamp made from clay or mud with a cotton wick dipped in ghee. Last week we made salt dough pots and painted them today, after talking about the festival of light and why it is celebrated.
After watching a short video on the computer about Diwali, the children were busy learning, making and celebrating in preschool. We used our thumbs to manipulate playdough into pots and then added glitter. One of the children and his family celebrate Deepawali and he was very much looking forward to talking to his friends about how they as a family celebrate. He told us about the candles they lit to welcome their guests and to bring “goodness to them and your inside” He also told us about the henna tattoo on his hand and how his mum made it for him. Following on from this, the children looked at designs on the internet and created their own henna pattern using crayons and felt tip pens. In the short video this morning, we learned about the reasoning behind rangoli patterns and symbolism, welcoming others to their homes and into their hearts and then sharing the experience with others. In the afternoon some of the children were talking about fireworks from the video, so with glue and glitter Gemma demonstrated a pattern and then each child did their own individual firework picture which looked great! We will continue learning about Deepawali throughout the week as the celebration continues.