Assembly point

10th October 2008 at 01:00
Dates and events to inspire pupils

October 28: Diwali

What's it all about?

Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, runs over five days from October 28 and celebrates the victory of good over evil and light over darkness. It is also celebrated by Jains and Sikhs, and involves lights, fireworks and sweets.

Assembly ideas

In primary schools, you could select pupils to act out what might happen in a typical household celebrating Diwali. The house will be thoroughly cleaned, decorated with fairy lights or tinsel, and fireworks and sweets purchased. It is also the time of year for buying and wearing new clothes.

In secondary schools, you could talk about the meaning of Diwali and the legends associated with it. Many people see it as about welcoming the god Vishnu and his bride Lakshmi - the goddess of prosperity and happiness - into their homes. They light candles and leave doors and windows open so that she can find her way in.

Others are interested in myths about good conquering evil, such as the kidnap of Sita, who was rescued by Rana, her husband, after a great battle. The tradition was that they returned home on a dark night, and people put out little lights for them to find their way.

If your school has Hindu pupils, it would be good to get them to talk about how they celebrate this festival.

Help, I don't have enough time to prepare

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