ChildForum Office of Pre-Primary Education

ChildForum Office of Pre-Primary EducationLead advisor on early childhood care and education 
National membership 

Publisher of the New Zealand-International Research in Early Childhood Journal


Diwali or Deepavali - the 'Festival of Lights'

By Karen Miller
© ChildForum

diwali and young children's celebrations


Celebrating Diwali or Deepavali, the Indian Festival of Lights is a fun way to bring Indian music and culture into your early childhood service and strengthen links with the Indian diaspora (or scattering of people to other countries).  

It is very important to be strong in one’s own cultural heritage and to participate in a shared, common culture as well. 

In recognition that New Zealand children represent a diversity of cultures and ethnicities early childhood services aim to acknowledge the celebrations that are important to children and families. 

For New Zealand children links to Indian culture are often part of their heritage. The shared culture within the service is strengthened through sharing this.

Indian cultural dress

A significant number of New Zealand families have Indian ancestry, whether directly or as a result of secondary migration from other countries such as Fiji, Britain, Malaysia and South Africa. Celebrating their culture in the centre is a great way to include these families in the programme and demonstrate and promote multicultural awareness and understanding to the centre community. 


  • About Diwali
  • Music, dancing, the sari
  • Foods
  • Ways to create rangoli patterns
  • The best resources
  • What to take care over and what to avoid


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