Festivals of Light


Hindu festival of light celebrated in the last week of October orthefirstweek of November. Four days of festivities lead up to the fifth day - Diwali. All celebrations centre around the story of Prince Rama and his adventurestotakethethrone in the kingdom of Ayodhaya. Exciting storywhich includes awicked step-mother, beautiful princess, wild demons, tenheaded wicked king and a monkey army. Plenty of scope for drama, creative writing and art work.


The Hindu Year "The Months of the Year' 'Diwali' byolivia Bennett (non-fiction forchildren). 'My Class at Diwali" by Ruth Thomson. 'Diwaii' Ginn Celebrations Level 10 (story and celebration details).


'Let's Celebrate' pages 81-85 (poetry).

'The Mouse and the Doves' Multi-Faith Fables (a Hindu story).

'The Lights of Diwali' by June Jones (fiction).

'Kamia and Kate' by Jamila Gavin (fiction).

'The Story of Prince Rama' by B. Thompson.


'Indian Dance - the story of Divali' 8 colour charts available from Pictorial Charts Educational Trust. 'Moon Lake" in 'Story, Song and Dance' by Jean Gilbert, Cambridge Ed.

Light/Diwali in 'Time to Dance' by Marion Ware (acc. cassette) Belair.


'Diwali' Tinder-Box Assembly Book (song).

'Raga Rang' Indian Classical Instrumental music EMI (ECSD 2773).

'Hari Krishna', A Musical Calendar of Festivals (song).


Diwali boats in 'Bright Ideas: Maths Activities' Scholastic.

Candle Time - as above.

Diwali Cards - as above.

Floating Lights - as above.


Christian festival celebrating the birth of Jesus in late December. Many homes begin the build-up to Christmas Day with an advent calendar in the home. A class advent calendar can take upa whole display board quite easily! Light plays an important part in Christmas celebrations -

Christingle (representsjesus as 'Lightof theworld') St. Lucia (Swedish tradition).

The Star - leading the Wise Men to the stable. Christmas trees decorated with lights.

Candies in churches and homes.


'Merry Christmas - Children at Christmas Time

Around the World' by Satomi lchikawa.

'Christmas' Jan Pienkowski.

'My Class at Christmas" by Ruth Thomson. 'ChristmasTinderbox' bysue Nicholls,A&C Black.


'Crown of Light Festival' (St. Lucia) David Bateson in 'Let's Celebrate' (fiction).

'The Christmas Treasury' ed. Kate Hayden.

'A Child is Born' by Jindra Capek (fiction).

'The Christmas Rocket' by Anne Molloy (fiction). "We Three Kings from Pepper Street Primary' by Joan Smith (fiction).

'A Christmas Stocking' anthology of Christmas poems compiled by Wes Magee, Cassell.

Crafts and Creativity

'Christmas Greetings' Pine Tree Publications - ideas for making unusual, hand-made Christmas cards.

'Bright Ideas Christmas Art and Craft'. 'More Bright Ideas Christmas Art and Craft', Scholastic - practical creative ideas for Christmas cards, decorations, gifts and costume.

"Star Shapes' Pine Tree Publications - 50 different stars to make, both simple flat designs and 3-D structures.

'Christmas and Festivals Craftwork Catalogue Philip & Tacey.


'Christmaths' and 'Merry Christmaths' (Books 1 and 2) by Wendy Garrett-seasona I maths activities. Available from The Mathematical Association, 259 London Road, Leicester LE2 3BE.

"Stars" by Margaret Canning - one of the

'Crosslinks' project packs. Available from The Bat, Falmouth Street, Newmarket, Suffolk CB8 3LE.

Christmas Carols in 'Bright Ideas: Maths Activities' Scholastic

Christmas Maths in 'Maths on Display' by B. Hume & K. Barrs, Belair.


Merrilyto Bethlehem' - caroisand Christmossongs from around the world. A & C Black.

'Now Light OneThousand Christmas Lights' Carol, Gaily Carol (song).

'Run With Torches To LightThe Dim Stable' Carol, Gaily Carol (song).

'Pull The Cracker - BANG!' Harlequin Songbook.

'How The StarWas Chosen' by Barrie Carson

Turner - a musical fantasy of song and dialogue.

International Music Publications.


Christmas in 'TimeTa Dance" by Marion Ware (acc. cassette), Belair.

'On Christmas Day' - a cumulative sound and action song in 'Game Songs' A & C Black.


A Jewish festival of light failing in December or

January celebrating the Syrians being driven out of Jerusalem and the Jews regaining their freedom to worship in the Temple. Centres around an eightbranched candlestick called a Menorah. There is a candle for each of the days of the festival and a new one is lit each evening, there is an extra candle on the centre of the candle stick which is used to light the others.This iscalledthe'servant'candle. Hanukka is a time for exchanging gifts, playing a special game spinning the dreidle' and a special festival for children.


'Hanukka' Ginn Celebrations Level 10 (story and details of celebrations).

The Jewish Year 'The Months of the Year'.


'Light the Festive Candles' Aileen Fisher in 'Let's

Celebrate' (poem).

'Soul and and the Donkeys' Multi-Faith Fables (a Jewish story).

'JustEnough is Plenty' by Barbara Diamond Goldin (folktale).


'Give Me Oil In My Lamp'Comeand Praise (song). 'Hanukka' Harlequin (song) plus recipe for Potato Latkes.

'Hanukka Song', A Musical Calendar of Festivals (song).

'One Little Candle', A Musical Calendar of Festivals (song).


'Ya tsatsa via ]a Ia' - Israeli singing game in 'Bright ldeas:Teacher's Handbook~ Language Resources' Scholastic (also in 'Singing and Dancing Games' Scholastic Cassettes).

"TzenaTzena' -Jewishfolksong with movementas above.


A Buddhist festival also known as Visakha Puia taking place in May or June to celebrate the birth, enlightenmentand death of Buddha. Wesak is a time of worship when homes and temples are decorated with flowers and lanterns. They carry burning incense sticks and candies around the temples and put offerings of flowers on front of statues of the Buddha. Celebrated particularly in Sri Lanka, Thailand and Burma.



'The Buddha and the Elephant' Multi Faith Fables (a Buddhist story.)

'The Birthday of Buddha' James Elikup in 'Let's Celebrate' (poem).

'The Visitors' Barrie Wade in 'Let's Celebrate'.

'Hurt No Living Thing' by Christina Rosetti in 'The

Young Puffin Book of Verse'.

'Three Golden Rainbows' Stephonie Claire, Hodder & Stoughton (fiction).


'Sinhalese Lullaby' A Musical Calendarof Festivals (song).