In Year 4, we have been learning all about Hindu festivals in RE. We began by learning about Holi, the festival of colour. The children listened to the story of Prahlad and learnt that his father, the king, wanted everyone to worship him but Prahlad continued to worship the Hindu god Vishnu. His father was furious and tried to hurt Prahlad in lots of different ways but each time the gods save him. With desperation, the king’s sister plotted to take Prahlad into the fire with her as she had a magic cloak that would protect her from the fire. However, the gods intervened again and the cloak flew around Prahlad’s shoulders and protected him instead. Finally, the gods took the king away and Prahlad became king and allowed everyone to worship the gods again. Hindu’s celebrate that good wins over evil by throwing lots of colourful paint onto each other. Hindu’s also make a big fire to represent the fire from the story.
Next, the children learnt about the Hindu festival Navaratri. They learnt that Navaratri means nine nights, which symbolises the nine nights the Hindu goddess Durga fought a demon for. After the nine days, the goddess won. Similarly to Holi, Hindus celebrate good winning over evil. To celebrate, Hindus dance with sticks called Dandiya and the children made some for themselves.
Finally, the children learnt about Diwali, the festival of lights. During the festival, Hindus celebrate the legend of the return of Rama and Sita. The children listened to the story of Rama and Sita and learnt that Hindus light Diya lamps to celebrate the victory of light over darkness.
Next week, the children will compare and contrast the different festivals looking for similarities and differences between these three Hindu festivals.