The P.S. 107 AAPI (Asian American & Pacific Islander) Affinity Group would like to wish our entire school community a happy Diwali!
Though traditionally celebrated in India and by the Indian diaspora around the world, including the United States, all are welcome to participate in local cultural events and festivities!
Below, you will find Diwali resources such as:
- Links to local Diwali events
- Children’s book recommendations
P.S. 107 After School is planning to have a traditional Garba Dance in honor of Diwali on Monday, November 13th in the Big Yard from 4-5 pm. After school families - please wait for further information on this.
Your AAPI Affinity Group
DIWALI - FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS
Diwali, also known as Deepavali, is one of the most important festivals in India. It is also an official holiday in Indian diaspora countries such Fiji, Guyana, Malaysia, Mauritius, Burma, Nepal, Pakistan, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.
This festival marks the Hindu New Year and symbolizes the victory of Light over Darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance.
Originally a harvest festival, it is known as the “Festival of Lights”, celebrated with fireworks and the lighting of clay lamps known as diyas. It is mainly celebrated by Hindus, but also by Jains, Sikhs, and Newar Buddhists.
Diwali is a 5 day long festival, and takes place every year sometime between late-October and early-November, depending on the cycle of the moon. This year, the main day of Diwali will be Sunday November 12.
There are many Indian mythological legends that are connected to this festival. Some of the main legends are stories around Rama, Lakshmi, Ganesh, and Krishna.
In addition to colorful lights and lighting their homes with diyas, people decorate their homes with rangolis (art drawn on the floor to bring the blessing of the Gods using natural materials like flowers, colored rice powder, and chalk powder). Families and friends gather to celebrate. People go to the temple and have various prayers or pujas during each day of Diwali. They visit each other's homes with gifts of mithai (indian sweets) and other small gifts.
It is a time for joy, laughter, unity and festivities.
Diwali Events in NYC this week:
Brooklyn Children's Museum 11/9, 2-5pm
The Seaport 11/10, 3-6pm
Asia Society 11/11, 1-4pm
Brooklyn Museum 11/12 (All Day)
Children's Museum of Manhattan 11/11 and 11/12, 2 - 3.15pm
New York Public Library 11/13, 4pm
Hudson Yards, 11/18, 4-5pm
Diwali Themed Books for Kids:
Currently Available at the P.S. 107 Library
- Diwali In My New Home by Sachi Kaushik (K-3 Interest Level)
- Binny’s Diwali by Thrity N. Umrigar (K-3 Interest Level)
- Archie Celebrates Diwali by Mitali Banerjee Ruths (K-3 Interest Level)
Other Diwali Books:
- Lighting a Lamp: A Diwali Story by Jonny Zucker (PreK- 3rd grade)
- Ramayana: Divine Loophole by Sanjay Patel (3rd grade and up)
- Raaga’s Song: A Diwali Story by Navina Chhabria
- Let’s Celebrate Diwali by Anjali Joshi (PreK and up)