Diwali is the start of the Hindu New Year and the dates are based on the position of the moon and so they change each year. This year Diwali falls on Saturday 14th November.
Diwali means Rows of Lights in Sanskrit and people decorate their homes with lights and oil lamps and lanterns.
Diwali is a celebration of Good triumphing over Evil and different legends based on the theme exist in different regions of India and Nepal.
Diwali is a time to have fun with friends and family. People exchange gifts and sweets, enjoy delicious feasts, watch fireworks and wear new clothes.
Diwali has many traditions but the most popular is Rangoli. Drawing beautiful patterns made of colourful powder and flowers normally on the floor by the door to welcome the gods into their homes and bring good luck.
During Diwali Hindus who live outside of India gather at places of worship called Mandirs to leave offerings to deities, watch firework displays and eat celebration food.
Bernie’s Diwali Craft
Rangoli Decorations for Diwali
Rangoli images are drawn on the floors and walls of people’s homes as a sign of
Welcome to the gods and to bring Good Luck to the family.
Rangoli patterns are brightly coloured and beautiful and are usually symmetrical and sometimes geometric.
They are traditionally made using coloured powders but flower petals and coloured rice are also used
as well as chalk and paint and coloured pencils and even sharpies.
Common themes are celestial symbols like the sun, the moon and the stars
or images from nature such as flowers and leaves, clouds and flames and importantly peacocks
all arranged in repeating patterns.
Children learn to make Rangolis using shapes like squares and circles, semi circles and spirals and stars and diamonds.
The famous tear shaped or droplet like Paisley motif is named after a textile town in Scotland but
the Paisley patterns actually began their long history in India and
were first imported to the West only during the 18th century.
I have made my Rangolis using coloured paper and card cut into shapes like triangles and diamonds and petals and leaves and paisley teardrops.
I stuck the patterns onto traditional six point star shapes and circles to represent the sun and the moon.
I coloured in the backdrops with sharpies and when we turned the lights out they glowed.
They look lovely as sun catchers on the window too.
I found some tea lights and placed them on the Rangolis on the rug and they looked very peaceful and welcoming.
Be careful though because the wax might melt through onto your carpet.