Diwali, the festival of lights, is one of the major holidays celebrated by the South Asian Community. Diwali is a festival celebrated over five days, the third day being the day of Diwali. Every year the holiday falls on either October or November, and this year Diwali is on October 24th. Diwali is a festival of lights, feasts, and fireworks. As the Lights of Happiness spread across the world, the authors of the below Diwali picture books share their thoughts about the holiday Diwali.
Diwali Lights by Rina Singh
Author Rina Singh:
“Even as a child, I found there was something magical about Diwali– the lights, the shopping, the sparklers, the fireworks, and mithai, the sweets that gave me a sweet tooth. But when I moved to Canada, for many years, Diwali lost its luster.
Friends took turns to host a Diwali dinner. That's it. No lights, no sparklers, no prayers. One day, my daughter Amrita, who was in Grade One at the time asked me: What is Diwali? Her question made me realize what I had left behind and what I could lose if I didn't make changes.
Since then I have celebrated Diwali with such devotion that even my non-Indian friends and their children have grown to love the festival of lights.
So, when the opportunity to write this book came my way, I felt Goddess Lakshmi was shining a light on me. Happy Diwali!! Shubh Diwali by Chitra Soundar, Illustrator Charlene Chua
Author Chitra Soundar:
“Growing up in the South of India, I looked forward all year to celebrating Diwali. On the second morning of the festival, as we prepared for the ceremonial oil bath, my grandmother told stories. I loved putting on my new silk skirt and blouse, lighting, sparklers, and arranging lamps around the house. Diwali is one of my favorite festivals, and I celebrate it wherever I live. Shubh Diwali to you!”
Diwali In My New Home by Shachi Kaushik, Illustrator Aishwarya Tandon
Author Shachi Kaushik:
“Diwali is a very special time of the year for me. I love decorating my home and feasting with family and friends. After moving to North America, I got the opportunity to volunteer at the Round Rock Public Library, where I hosted a bilingual Hindi-English Storytime. Every year the library would host a Diwali celebration for children. This celebration became bigger and more popular within the community. Seeing the smiles on the children’s faces brought me so much happiness that I wanted to share the joy of Diwali with the world, and I wrote my book Diwali In My New Home.
Light a Diya! Share the happiness of lights with everybody around. Happy Diwali!”
Shachi Kaushik is a bilingual Hindi-English children’s media enthusiast who is passionate about sharing stories. Part of the Children’s Media Industry, she creates content for children that is entertaining, enlightening, and educational. Raised in India, Shachi currently lives in Vancouver with her husband. Shachi loves taking walks on the beach and eating gelato. You can learn more about her by visiting her website.
Instagram: @storiesbyshachiLinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/shachi-kaushik/