How to Celebrate Diwali with Your Children

written by ERIN CELLETTI

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Source: Raakhee Mirchandani
Source: Raakhee Mirchandani

As we enter the holiday season, there’s so much to celebrate. At the root of all celebrations are the virtues of faith, family, friendship, and community—and that’s exactly what Diwali is all about.

A festival of lights that typically lasts about five days, Diwali is a holy holiday. It typically falls between mid-October and mid-November and is celebrated globally. This year, Diwali is on November 12, and here at The Everymom, we wanted to share more about the holiday and ways to celebrate with our kids.

We spoke with Raakhee Mirchandani, mom and award-winning writer, editor, and author of the children’s book My Diwali Light, to find out all about Diwali and what it means to her family.

What is Diwali?

The Diwali holiday originated in India and is considered the country’s most significant holiday. It’s observed by over one billion people across the world, and the dates are determined by the Hindu lunar calendar. Raakhee explained that Diwali is a, “holy holiday celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, and Buddhists, and it is a significant holiday for many, many people and many religions.” It marks the triumph of good over evil, light over darkness, and celebrates the promise of new beginnings.

When is Diwali?

This year, the five-day festival begins on November 10, with November 12 (also called Lakshmi Puja/Diwali) being the most celebrated day. This day marks the birth of the Goddess Lakshmi (the goddess of wealth and prosperity).

Source: Raakhee Mirchandani

How Families Celebrate Diwali

For Raakhee and her family, Diwali is a time for reflection and renewal. She said, “All of us have a light inside of us, and it doesn’t matter what country you come from or what faith you practice, we all have this light, and that is the gift we share with everyone.” For her, it’s a time to rekindle that light.

She explained, “Sometimes our lights get dim—the world can be a complicated place. So Diwali, it’s a time to reflect, recharge, and get back to it, together.”

As for Raakhee, her husband Agan, and her daughter Satya, they celebrate Diwali BIG.

“We have a giant party in our apartment. We move all the furniture and have an open house for like four or five hours. We feed every single person, we dance, we have a great time. We celebrate big because we are proud, and also because there is room in our Diwali for everyone.”

And she means everyone!

“When you look around the apartment, it isn’t just Indian folks or South Asian folks, it’s everyone. My neighbors, mailperson, teachers—everyone is invited and I love it.”

diwali celebration
Source: Raakhee Mirchandani

How to Teach Children About Diwali

Books are a wonderful way to introduce children to Diwali, and Raahkee’s book, My Diwali Light, is a beautiful story of a little girl named Devi, who loves everything about the Diwali holiday. Complete with eye-catching, kid-friendly illustrations, it takes readers through Devi’s favorite aspects of the holiday (designing rangoli, painting diyas, eating sweet treats, and shining her light), and authentic Diwali traditions.

While sharing her book with children and explaining the meaning behind the holiday, Raakhee loves to help kids find connections that click. Whether it be the display of lights or sharing of sweet treats, she asks children to make connections and comparisons to other holidays they may be familiar with, and then go from there.

My Diwali Light
Raakhee Mirchandani
My Diwali Light

Raahkee’s book is a relatable, original tale that educates young readers on the significance and excitement of the holiday, ways to prepare and celebrate, and includes key vocabulary throughout.

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Diwali celebrate the world
Hannah Eliot
Diwali (Celebrate the World)

For younger readers, this board book about Diwali can also be a great introduction to the holiday.

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Kid-Friendly Ways to Celebrate Diwali

A great, kid-friendly way to celebrate Diwali is the painting of diyas (just like Devi does in the book!). These are small clay lamps that are lit with a tealight during Diwali. It not only symbolizes the light of the holiday, but gives families time to paint and connect together, too.

A favorite of Raahkee’s, a mom-owned company called Kulture Khazana, makes it easy for families to celebrate together. Favorite products include decorate-your-own Puja Thali Kits (prayer plates with a small diya on top), DIY garland (Toran) kits, and more.

Puja Thali Kit for Kids
Kulture Khazana
Puja Thali Kit for Kids

This complete Diwali Puja Thali (Prayer Plate) Kit teaches kids about the Festival of Lights and explains the "why" behind the rituals.

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Kulture Khazana
DIY Diwali Garland (Toran) Kit

Kids can create a unique garland (Toran) for Diwali using this craft kit that contains felt, gold ribbon, glue dots, and gem stickers.

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Family Rangoli Puzzle 150 Pcs
Kulture Khazana
Family Rangoli Puzzle

This beautiful, 150-piece Rangoli floor puzzle offers the perfect family activity to celebrate Diwali.

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Diwali pjs
Clover Baby & Kids
Soft & Stretchy Rangoli Footie

Dress for the occasion with these adorable Clover PJs that simply couldn't be cuter. With details and colors found in the Rangoli, your little ones be ready to celebrate the moment they wake up in the morning.

available in sizes 0-24M

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baby Danish plush toy Diwali
Modi Toys
Baby Ganesh Plush Toy

Sure to be your little one's new favorite toy even after the holiday ends is this adorable plush baby Ganesh. It even sings Ganpati mantras, meaning it's both fun and educational.

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how to celebrate diwali
Modi Toys
Mantra Singing Plush Toys with Book

Combine reading and singing for the ultimate fun learning experience. And let's not forget the adorable plush toys that come along with it!

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As with most holidays, there are food traditions, too. In My Diwali Light, Devi’s family makes laddus. These sweet, round, rolled desserts acts as a tasty reminder to speak sweetly. Her family then wraps them up in decorative boxes and delivers them to loved ones. This allows them to embrace the concept of giving, sharing, and shining your inner light.

Diwali has such a wide reach and relatable concepts that all of us—no matter our background or faith—can reflect upon within our own lives. So, however you choose to recognize Diwali this year, may your inner light shine, and continue to be bright.

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