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  The festival of Diwali
Updated 27 November 2001, 09.18

Neelu, 10, lives in India and talks about what goes on during the festival of Diwali.

Here's her report:

Diwali is a Hindu festival and is the happiest and noisiest of the Hindu calendar.

It is the festival of lights, crackers and sweets. It is one of my favourite festivals when we all meet with our families, eat lots of sweets and watch fireworks and crackers going off all around us.

Five days off school

We celebrate Diwali because this is the time when Rama returned home with his wife Sita, it is also when the demon king Ravan was killed so we celebrate it as a festival.

It is a five day festival so all the children have five days off school to spend with their families.

We do lots of different things on each day of the festival:

Girl making Rangoli patterns
Rangoli patterns

  • Day One - we prepare our houses by cleaning them and then make 'Rangoli' patterns on our doorstep or on the pavement outside our houses.

  • Day Two - we have to make sure that we look good. We have baths with oils and then we receive gifts off our parents of new clothes and jewellery.

  • Day Three - this is the main day of the festival, we go to the temple in the morning with our families. After we have said lots of prayers we get to eat the sweets that our mothers have made and then we have sparklers, crackers and fireworks.

  • Day Four - this is the start of the Hindu new year. On this day everybody dresses in their new clothes and we visit the biggest temple in our town or city with our families.

  • Day Five - on the final day of the festival a brother should be with his sister wherever she is, then the girl will receive a gift off her brother such as new clothes or sweets.

    Traditional sweets
    Lots of food is eaten during the festival

    We eat lots of lovely food throughout the festival, lots of different savoury snacks and lots and lots of sweets, we share our food with our neighbours. Although it is a Hindu festival, it is celebrated by everybody across India.

    One of my favourite parts of the festival is worshipping our gods.

    I do enjoy watching the fireworks lighting up the sky but the crackers are just too noisy!

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