The Festival of Lights at Delphi is an opportunity for all children to learn about and appreciate Indian arts and culture, with professional guest performers such as dancers or musicians starting off the festival each year. Each class learns and performs a song, dance, skit or other cultural presentation. Parents and students help create rangoli (a traditional art form with chalk designs and dyed salt). Each class also crafts a small gift such as bracelets, tiny lamps or colorful boxes of dried fruits and nuts to share with the other students. Parents bring in Indian foods to sample and traditional clothing to share with non-Indian families so that everyone can dress up. Diwali at Delphi is a colorful and festive affair, entertaining for people of every ethnic background.

What does the Diwali festival signify?

Diwali is one of the best-known Indian festivals and is celebrated throughout India, as well as in Indian communities around the world. Its exact significance varies from region to region, but common to all areas Diwali is a harvest festival that signifies the renewal of life and marks the approach of winter and the start of the sowing season.

Diwali is a festival of lights that lasts for five days. Each day has its own special meaning and name. The third day is the actual day of Diwali and a time to honor the goddess Lakshmi. The lighting of lamps comes from an ancient story about Lord Rama’s return from exile and defeat of an evil demon named Ravana of Lanka. When Lord Rama returned, the grateful population lit rows of clay lamps to honor his victory over evil.

Diwali is a bright, colorful festival with beautiful costumes, performances, art, special foods and traditions. Delphi students enjoy learning about these customs to appreciate other cultures and traditions that are becoming common in the Bay Area.

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