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Sunday, October 30, 2016

Upper Merion Township Library's Diwali Celebration | October 26, 2016

On Wednesday night, the Upper Merion Township Library held their annual Diwali celebration. Diwali is the Hindu festival of light, which comes from the Diya lamps that are lighted to symbolize the lighting of spiritual darkness. Diwali celebrations are held in October or November and originated as a harvest festival since India is an agricultural holiday. As one of the children told me while I was helping them with their crafts, Diwali is like their Halloween. She said to me, "Americans have Halloween, Indians have Diwali."

This is the time where farmers and the spiritual seek divine blessings of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, as they closed their ledgers and prayed for wealth for the following harvest. Indians celebrate with family gatherings, glittering clay lamps, festive fireworks, strings of electric lights, bonfires, flowers, sharing of sweets, and worship to Lakshmi. Some believe that Lakshmi wanders the Earth looking for homes where she will be welcomed. People open their doors and windows and light lamps to invite Lakshmi in. You can read more about Diwali here.

I had a great time reading a Diwali story to toddlers and performing a Diwali skit for older children. I also loved helping the children make their Diya lamp wreaths. I love helping with crafts, especially when it promotes cultural learning. Even the performers were awesome.










































The thank you card for helping, along with some Diwali stamps. 

Today is Diwali! For those that celebrate, have a blessed Diwali and best wishes for the upcoming year! Happy Diwali!

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