At Diamond Hill Montessori School families got together to prepare a special presentation for the Toddler and Primary children in our Little room, Lee room and Becker room. This presentation allowed them to experience this holiday and understand the importance of lighting “diyas” on the auspicious day called “Diwali”.
Diwali comes from the Sanskrit word Dipawali which translates as row of lights. Festivities begin with the lighting of lamps on the night of the new moon in the month of Kartika (October-November). The celebration throughout the country continues for at least two or three days. In some areas, it may last as many as ten days. It also marks the end of autumn and the beginning of the winter season in India. The origins of Diwali are obscured in folklore and legend. Some say it commemorates the return of Rama and his bride, Sita, to his throne at Ayodhya after a fourteen-year exile. Others believe it marks Krishna’s destruction of Narakasura, the demon of filth. Still others trace its beginnings to the freeing of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, from prison in the Nether World. In Bengal, some interpret it as a time to honor the goddess Kali.
We had traditional Indian outfits and accessories for children to try on the entire day. Children at DHMS got to taste a traditional Indian dish called “pulao” made with rice, peas and aromatic spices that enhance the flavor.
In our Practical Life area we had lantern making, diya poking out tracing and coloring different diyas and also glued diyas together. Parents demonstrated how to put a ”rangoli”, designs made with colored sand.
Diversity helps children understand different cultures. It also helps educate how we represent different backgrounds although we live in the same continent. Coming together and celebrating as one is what makes us a true Montessori school.