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Celebrate the festival of light

Make a diya, and learn about the festival of light. Can you separate Diwali fact from fiction?
Plan a session with this activity

You will need

  • Air-drying clay
  • Tea lights
  • Paint brushes
  • Paint suitable for clay
  • Clay tools (or alternatives like glue spreaders)

Before you begin 

Make a Diya

  1. The person leading the activity should show everyone how to complete each step of the instructions to make their Diya. They should remind everyone that they can look at this web page to help them.
  1. Everyone should get a piece of clay and roll it into a ball about five centimetres big. 
  2. Make a hole in the top of the ball using your thumb. Gradually make the hole bigger, until your clay is shaped like a small bowl. It needs to be big enough to fit a small tealight inside, but not too deep – the wick of the candle should stick out over the top of the bowl.
  3. Shape the bowl so it has a point at the front, a bit like a boat. Make sure it has a flat bottom, so it sits still on the table. 
  4. Use tools (or just your fingers) to decorate the outside of the Diya with patterns. 
  5. Leave the finished lamps to dry.
  1. Once the lamps are dry, paint and decorate them, and leave to dry. 
  2. When the paint is dry, put in a tealight.

Learn about Diwali 

  1. Everyone should come up with an action to represent ‘true’ and an action to represent ‘false’. 
  1. The person leading the game should say something about Diwali – it might be true, or it might be false. 
  1. If players think the statement is true, they should do the action for true. If they think it was false, they should do the action for false. 
  2. The person leading the game will tell everyone whether it was true or false and explain why. 
  3. Everyone should return to a neutral position and get ready to play with another statement.

Reflection

This activity reminded everyone that they’re a local, national, and international citizen. Are there any similarities between Diwali and any festivals or celebrations people take part in? Are there any other festivals or celebrations that people would like to find out more about? Diwali is a time to think about others and people in need – is that a responsibility everyone shares, no matter their background?

This activity also encouraged everyone to respect and trust people from different backgrounds. How could everyone respect people who’re celebrating Diwali? Why is it important that people learn about festivals and celebrations that they don’t celebrate? Did anyone learn anything surprising about Diwali? How would people feel if they were invited to a Diwali celebration?

Safety

All activities must be safely managed. Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Do a risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Always get approval for the activity and have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.

Sharp objects

Teach young people how to use sharp objects safely. Supervise them appropriately throughout. Store all sharp objects securely, out of the reach of young people.