Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Celebrate Diwali with Sweets, Lights, and Fireworks

Celebrate Diwali with Sweets, Lights, and Fireworks

Deborah Heiligman
For ages 6 to 9
National Geographic, 2006   ISBN: 978-0792259220

Every fall Indians of all ages and faiths celebrate Diwali. It is a festival which commemorates the victory of good over evil. There are many stories of how good gods defeat bad ones and these stories are told at this time. The many lights that are lit for this festival represent the good shining out into the darkness and giving hope to all people.

People around the world celebrate Diwali in different ways. One thing everyone does is to lights candles and lamps. In addition people also dress up, decorate their homes, and make and buy special sweets to eat. Then there are the fireworks. Fireworks are a big favorite for this holiday.

On the day itself people begin by bathing and getting dressed up. Then at dawn the fireworks are set off. They symbolize the sound of a great battle which took place long ago between the forces of good and evil, a battle which the forces of good won. Many people will pray at home or in a temple, and lamps and candles are placed around the house. Friends and family get together to eat sweets and to enjoy one another’s company.

This excellent title in the “Holidays around the World” series perfectly describes this unique festival so that children can get an accurate picture of what Diwali is like. In addition to the description the author has also included a section at the back of the book which includes more facts about Diwali, a glossary, a recipe for a typical Diwali sweet, and instructions on how to play Teen Pathi, an Indian card game.