Easy and Fun Ways to Celebrate Diwali for Everyone!

By Ajanta Chakraborty, Author and Founder of BollyGroove & CultureGroove November 8, 2021

Diwali, the festival of lights of India, is the Christmas equivalent of India. During this time, the entire country gets into a sparkly festive mood that was also an integral part of my cultural upbringing there.

Away from the motherland, the desire to spread the same joy not only to my son but also to our friends, little readers, local communities etc. burns as brightly as the glittering Diyas (clay lamps) of Diwali!

Diwali is the time for boisterous parties with friends and family getting together in their finest festive outfits and sharing laughter over delicious treats. But even without that, there are plenty of ways to make it truly fun, especially for the kids.

Are you wondering if you are allowed to celebrate Diwali if you are not from South Asia? Worry not, my friend! It is beautiful to see people of all ethnicities learning and sharing about Diwali with their kids.

So how does one celebrate Diwali? Here are some ideas to celebrate the five days in an easy and fun way!

Day 0, get ready by learning about Diwali. If you don’t have our Maya/Neel Diwali book, simply watch this 5-minute Diwali storytime to quickly get up to speed.

Or join our free monthly storytime group for a longer version with a Diwali story & craft workshop.

Day 1 (Dhanteras)

This is the day to go shopping! 

Traditionally, people buy either pots and pans or jewelry. 

I have such fond memories of visiting the markets with my Mom and I tried very hard to capture that in our book as well.

Celebrate Dhanteras by making this cool cardboard bracelet craft!

Day 2 (Chhoti Diwali, or mini Diwali) 

This is the day before Diwali. The perfect way to get ready for the big day tomorrow is by making Diwali desserts! Try a simplified coconut Barfi recipe here that is sure to be a hit with the kids!
What is a Barfi?

Barfi is a square or diamond-shaped dessert that is traditionally made with Mawa (evaporated milk solids) and often mixed with other ingredients such as almonds, coconuts, etc.

Day 3 (Diwali)

This is the main day of Diwali. The day when all of India glows because of clay lamps called Diya and the skies light up with fireworks. Celebrate this day by making your own beautiful paper Diya at home.

Some people in India also pray to Goddess Laxmi on this day, who is the goddess of wealth and prosperity.

This is the perfect day to also read about Ramayana, the story of Diwali. One of the main epics of India, this is a fascinating story that involves kings & queens, demons, golden deer, flying chariots and more!

Day 4 (Saal Mubarak)

Some people in India celebrate their New Year on this day and exchange gifts. This day and the greeting is called Saal Mubarak.

In our family, we started a tradition of giving to those who are less fortunate than ours. Every year, we make care packs and distribute them to homeless people.

Day 5 (Bhai Dooj)

The last and final day of Diwali is when we celebrate the sibling bond. On this day, the sister takes a red paste called Kumkum and puts a dot on her brother’s forehead. 

In recent times, the celebration has rightfully expanded to include siblings, cousins, friends, or anyone with who your child considers having a strong loving bond.

Let’s wrap up the festival by dancing to these 5 days of Diwali song to the tunes of 12 days of Christmas!

Looking for more ideas? 

Check out this Diwali 50-Activity book for endless Diwali fun including crafts, puzzles, word games, coloring pages, recipes and more.

About the Author Ajanta Chakraborty

Ajanta is an award-winning co-author of Maya & Neel’s India Adventure Series with 13 titles. She also teaches unique virtual dances & stories classes for kids through her dance company, Bollywood Groove. 

Join Ajanta’s Facebook community with more than 3,200 families for FREE monthly storytime, arts & crafts, dances and more: Raise Multicultural Kids.