What is Diwali?
DIWALI (also called DEEPAVALI) is a “festival of lights” that celebrates the triumph of light over dark, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance.
The name comes from SANSKRIT (Sanskrit is the sacred language of HINDUISM, the language of classical Hindu philosophy, and of historical texts of BUDDHISM and JAINISM) Deepavali, meaning “row of lights.”
For people of Indian descent across that country and the world, Diwali is one of the most widely celebrated festivals. This festival is as important to Hindus as the Christmas holiday is to Christians.
SPELL: INDIA FESTIVAL VICTORY IMPORTANT
Diwali or Deepavali is a festival of what? LIGHTS
What is the original language of the word Deepavali: SANSKRIT
What is the meaning of the Sanskrit word Deepavali: ROW OF LIGHTS
What festival are we learning about today? DIWALI, DEEPAVALI
Diwali celebrates the triumph of what? LIGHT OVER DARK, GOOD OVER EVIL, KNOWLEDGE OVER IGNORANCE
Which is your favorite festival of the year? Why?
Who celebrates Diwali?
Over the centuries, Diwali, celebrated by Hindus, has become a national festival that’s also enjoyed by non-Hindu communities.
-In Jainism, Diwali marks the NIRVANA, or spiritual awakening, of LORD MAHAVIRA on October 15, 527 B.C.
-Sikhism honors the day that GURU HAR GOBIND JI, the Sixth Sikh Guru, was freed from IMPRISONMENT.
-In Buddhism, it is celebrated as a COMMEMORATION (a ceremony or celebration in which a person or event is remembered) of the day when Emperor ASHOKA converted to Buddhism in the third century BCE.
SPELL: CELEBRATE NATIONAL OCTOBER CENTURY
Diwali marks the nirvana of whom? LORD MAHAVIRA
What is the meaning of the word NIRVANA given in the lesson? SPIRITUAL AWAKENING
The sixth Sikh guru was freed from what? IMPRISONMENT
Who converted to Buddhism in the third century BCE? EMPEROR ASHOKA
Apart from Hindus, what are the other religions that celebrate Diwali as per this lesson: JAINISM, SIKHISM, BUDDHISM
Hindus interpret the Diwali story based on where they live.
-In northern India, they celebrate the story of King RAMA’S return to AYODHYA after he defeated the demon RAVANA by lighting rows of clay lamps.
-Southern India celebrates it as the day that LORD KRISHNA defeated the demon NARAKASURA.
-In western India, the festival marks the day that Lord VISHNU, the Preserver (one of the main gods of the Hindu trinity), sent the demon King BALI to rule the nether world.
But there’s one common theme no matter where people celebrate:
“The victory of good over evil.”
SPELL: NORTHERN INTERPRET DEFEAT
In Northern India, Diwali is celebrated by lighting what? ROWS OF CLAY LAMPS.
Who defeated the demon Narakasura? LORD KRISHNA
What is the common theme of Diwali: THE VICTORY OF GOOD OVER EVIL?
Apart from Narakasura, the other demons mentioned in this lesson are: RAVANA, KING BALI
What is the only Indian monument that belongs to the seven wonders of the World? (The Taj Mahal, In Agra, India )
What is one evil in this world that you would like to eradicate?
How is Diwali celebrated?
Even though the reason for celebrating Diwali may differ, the widespread custom and traditions of Diwali are similar and around the following themes.
The lighting of lamps, FIREWORKS, decoration with RANGOLI, family, and feast.
LIGHTING OF LAMPS
The main celebration of Diwali takes place on the day of the new moon when the sky is at its darkest, so a big part of the celebration revolves around light. Diwali’s date is determined by the Indian calendar and changes every year, ranging from October to November. It is observed on the 15th day of the 8th month (the month of KARTIK – The Kartik month is considered as the holiest month in the Hindu Lunar calendar) in India’s calendar. The day is an AMAVASYA or ‘new moon day’.’ This year, Diwali takes place on Monday, October 24, 2022.
Candles, clay lamps, and oil lanterns are lit and placed throughout the home, in the streets, in areas of worship, and floated on lakes and rivers.
For Diwali, the lighting of fireworks is INTERPRETED as a way to ward off all evil spirits as well as add to the festive mood. In addition, this ritual may also be linked to the tradition of paying respect to ANCESTORS. The Diwali night’s lights and fireworks represent a celebratory and symbolic farewell to the departed ANCESTRAL souls.
SPELL: TRADITION SYMBOLIC SIMILAR
The main celebration of Diwali takes place on the day of the? NEW MOON
What is another name for New Moon Day? AMAVASYA
What is set off on the night of Diwali to ward off evil spirits? FIREWORKS
The Diwali night’s lights and fireworks represent a celebratory and symbolic farewell to whom? DEPARTED ANCESTRAL SOULS
What are the themes around which Diwali is celebrated? LIGHTING OF LAMPS, FIREWORKS, DECORATION WITH RANGOLI, FAMILY, FEAST.
What is lit and placed throughout the home, streets, and areas of worship? CANDLES, CLAY LAMPS, OIL LANTERNS
What is Kartik? THE KARTIK MONTH IS CONSIDERED THE HOLIEST MONTH IN THE HINDU LUNAR CALENDAR
Do you have fireworks involved in any of your cultural/traditional celebrations? If yes, list some of those.
DECORATION WITH RANGOLI
In many sections, Diwali is also celebrated to welcome Goddess LAKSHMI. She is believed to be the EPITOME, or essence, of wealth and PROSPERITY. Therefore, people offer prayers, ask for her blessings in the form of wealth, and spend hours designing their floors with beautiful art, called RANGOLI, using colored powder, as a gesture to welcome Goddess Lakshmi.
History of Rangoli: Rangoli, which means “an array of colors” in Sanskrit, is a traditional Indian art form dating back some 5,000 years to the PRE-ARYAN period. Combining SYMMETRY, PRECISION, and COMPLEXITY, Rangoli is a design made of geometrical lines drawn on the floor, composed of curved loops.
FAMILY and FEAST
Another central theme of Diwali is FAMILY and FEAST.
Wearing their best new clothes, families gather to eat and celebrate with a feast. The feast can be quite EXTRAVAGANT, with the table filled with special dishes and sweets. Businesses are generally closed (or close early) on Diwali to allow workers to celebrate with their families, too.
SPELL: DECORATION BEAUTIFUL BLESSINGS EXTRAVAGANT
Diwali is also celebrated to welcome whom? GODDESS LAKSHMI
What is the traditional Indian art form used for decorating the floors? RANGOLI
What does the word RANGOLI mean, directly from the text? AN ARRAY OF COLORS
RANGOLI designs are geometrical lines composed of what? CURVED LOOPS
Goddess Lakshmi is the epitome of what? WEALTH, PROSPERITY
What are the three characteristics of Rangoli mentioned in the lesson?
SYMMETRY, PRECISION, COMPLEXITY
Can you name a couple of dishes from Indian cuisine that you are aware of/like?
What is your favorite holiday food?
What is your favorite traditional art form, and why?
Paper Plate Rangoli decorations – discuss colors, shapes, and sequencing whilst you are at it:
Paper DIYA LAMP garlands
Creative Writing Prompt:
1. Write an acrostic poem
2. What does a “row of lights” symbolize to you?