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Deepavali Celebration 2020

Deepavali or Diwali is the Festival of Lights and this year it was truly unique and memorable as we stayed at home during this extended CMCO period. We are used to dressing up in lovely dresses and traditional Indian clothes, sharing food, and having a cultural show to celebrate this festival in school. It was still a very exciting and colourful holiday which we celebrated together but apart, maybe in distance but never in heart. For our live sessions in school today, some of the children dressed up in their colourful clothes including the members of staff. They learnt about Deepavali and tried to do a lively dance and some activities that help us understand and explore this celebration.

In Year 1, we talked about Deepavali and how it is celebrated and the meaning behind this festival. We learnt that homes are cleaned and a rangoli is made in the foyer of the house to welcome the Hindu goddess of wealth, Lakshmi. Families come together to celebrate. Presents are given and delicious holiday food is prepared and exchanged. There is lots of shopping done as new clothes and jewellery are worn. Parties are held and fireworks and firecrackers are set off, so it is a noisy holiday too! People put up candles. The light of the deepa, which means lamp or light represents the divine light which also symbolises knowledge and enlightenment. The children’s favourite part of learning about Deepavali is that there are fireworks and shopping!

We also looked at the story of Rama and Sita and how Rama defeated the evil creature with ten heads and twenty arms! The story reminds us to celebrate hope as it wards off darkness through joy and happiness. It helps us to focus on the bright side of the world and reminds everyone that no matter how hard the times may be, we can overcome anything and find success. This is a good lesson to take away during this difficult time.

We also explored what is a rangoli, which is a colourful design made on the floor near the entrance to a house to welcome guests. At Deepavali, people who celebrate it draw bright Rangoli patterns to encourage the goddess Lakshmi to enter their homes. Rangoli patterns are traditionally drawn with fingers using flour, rice grains or even coloured chalk. Rangoli can be square, rectangular or circular - or a mix of all three. They are often symmetrical and designs can be taken from nature. You can learn about rangoli by looking at photos and videos, print out some rangoli colouring pages, try out some rangoli fuse bead patterns and even design and create your own rangoli with many different ingredients.

This Deepavali, may the supreme lights illuminate our life with joy, happiness and knowledge.

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