This month, families across India celebrate Diwali — the festival of light!
One of the country’s major religious festivals celebrated by people of several different faiths, Diwali symbolizes the victory of light over darkness. Celebrated over five days in India, Diwali falls sometimes in October and sometimes in November, at the end of the summer harvest. In 2022, Diwali begins on October 24.
“Diwali is a festival full of fun and creativity,” shares the staff at our long-time partner in Pune, Bharatiya Samaj Seva Kendra (BSSK). “For children, Diwali means holidays at school, fun and play time, wearing new clothes, enjoying snacks, getting gifts and visiting their friends and relatives. Children get up early in the morning for all the four days of Diwali, and mothers with loads of love pray to God for the good health and prosperity of the family.”
Children make colorful sky lanterns and colorful rangoli designs out of rock and sand — representing happiness, positivity and liveliness — and families decorate and illuminate their homes, courtyards and “all the places where people move about.”
People share meals and lots of sweet and salty snacks with friends and family, and pray in gratitude for India‘s abundant natural resources.
Although children and families in sponsorship struggle in many ways, Diwali is a time of year that brings them together. “Even with all the difficulties [they face], one can see smiling faces and hope on the faces of the children and their parents as the festival approaches,” our partner staff writes. “The parents plan for a long time and save a small amount to celebrate the festival by getting new clothes, fireworks and sweets for the children. Diwali bring lots of hope in the lives of people.”
Sponsors also bring light and hope to the the lives of their sponsored children. Through your kindness and generosity, you cover basic needs — easing their stress, and allowing time away to celebrate and play.
Thank you for bringing light, joy and hope to the lives of children, wherever they may live. And Happy Diwali!