A School Night Diwali

In India, Diwali is hard to miss whether it’s a weekday or weekend. The flurry of activity starts days ahead with cleaning our homes to a sparkling shine to welcome Goddess Lakshmi.  Kids dream about the days off from school and all the sweets and gifts that are coming their way. Buildings are lit up, trays of sweets arrive from friends and of course, there are Diwali parties to attend.

Things might be a little different for families who live away from India though. Apart from the fact that there are no days off from school (or work), there is a stark absence of the festive atmosphere that defines Diwali. We may have to put in extra effort to keep some of our old traditions alive, and find ways to make our own little family traditions for this “winter holiday”. Celebrating Diwali with kids and creating meaningful traditions with them can be especially difficult when Diwali falls on a weekday like it does this year.

Here are 5 easy ways in which you can celebrate Diwali at home with your kids on a school night and maybe create some special family traditions of your own!

  1. Make art. Drawing Rangolis is a fun activity at any time of the year, and kids will love having their artwork displayed prominently at home by the entrance. Draw a simple geometrical pattern on some construction paper and have the kids fill up the shapes with colored beans, lentils, rice or flowers.
  2. Dress up. Wear new clothes for the evening. Pick bright colored clothes for feelings of energy and happiness, remember, no black!
  3. Light candles. Have the kids help you place candles in the different rooms of the house. The younger ones can use electric lights instead of open flames for safety.
  4. Eat Indian. Prepare their favorite Indian food at home or order in from your favorite Indian restaurant instead of slaving over the stove. Enjoy the extra time with your family!
  5. Share stories. Read a Diwali story for bedtime. Share Diwali memories from your own childhood and what the holiday means to you.

Tell us in the comments below how you plan to celebrate the festival of lights at home this year!

Happy Diwali!

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