Our first grade class had the opportunity for a special Diwali celebration at school last week! Diwali, or the Festival of Lights, is a Hindu holiday that celebrates the victory of goodness and light. One of our Lake Tahoe School parents and her two children dressed in traditional Indian attire, read a book about Diwali, molded clay lamps, and served special treats to teach students about traditions that are practiced for this special holiday.

First graders arrived in class to a beautiful sight of decorative garlands, traditionally made of marigolds, all around the classroom. Our special parent visitor, Raj, read “Binny’s Diwali” by Thrity Umrigar to the students, a heartwarming story about a girl who finds the words to share her favorite holiday with her fellow classmates. Following the book, Raj taught first graders how to mold clay into diyas, or oil lamps. Traditionally, diyas are placed at entrances to homes to chase away darkness. Students then placed tea lights inside of their diyas and decorated them with gemstones.

Once the children finished up their projects, their class went outside to enjoy some delicious kaju katli, gulab jamun, chum chum, kalakand, and boondi ladoos in the sunshine – the perfect way to end their celebration. Diwali reminds us to celebrate the victory of goodness and gives us hope for the future. Special thanks to Raj and her children for sharing their goodness and light with our first grade class!