Celebrate Diwali by Deborah HeiligmanCelebrate Diwali with Sweets, Lights and Fireworks
Holidays Around the World Series
National Geographic
Ages 5-9
978-0792259220 Hardcover
978-1426302916 Paperback

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Named as a Notable Social Studies Trade Book by the National Social Studies Teacher/Children’s Book Council

Diwali is a holiday that comes from India. It is celebrated by Hindus around the world. Sikhs and Jains celebrate it, too. As you will see in my book, different people celebrate it in different ways and for different reasons. But there are common themes for everyone: the triumph of good over evil, of light over darkness. Diwali is called THE FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS.

The word Diwali is a shortening of Deepavali, which comes from the Sanskrit word dipa, meaning row, and vali, meaning lights. In South India the holiday is called by the original word, Deepavali. Diwali/Deepavali is celebrated in autumn. Some people celebrate for more than one day.

When I first started writing this book I had never even heard of Diwali. So to write the book I read a lot, talked to a lot of people (professors, journalists, neighbors, friends, store owners and waiters). I was lucky enough to go to a Diwali party (I hope to go to more!) And I had a wonderful guide in my consultant. (For each book I have a consultant who is an expert in the holiday). For CELEBRATE DIWALI my consultant was Dr. Vasudha Narayanan, who is brilliant, knowledgeable, distinguished and fun. And does she travel! I got e-mails from her when she was in Paris, India, Cambodia and her home in Florida. Visit her web site to learn more about her: http://www.clas.ufl.edu/users/vasu/.

A lovely review of Celebrate Diwali appeared in Indian Life & Style Magazine:
The entire collection of Holidays Around the World by National Geographic Society is amazing, however Celebrate Diwali is one of the best of the bunch.
With rich, vivid photographs, bold use of color and creative and engaging text, Celebrate Diwali is an important book that engages young readers to explore this Indian festival of lights. The book cleverly weaves old generation knowledge with modern twists in celebration which delivers a book that is easily approachable for today’s youth and supported by elders alike…This book leaves you wanted to learn more, to participate more and to celebrate more. This engaging and creative work of art is an amazing contribution to children’s book in America. – Diana Rohini LaVigne, Indian Life & Style Magazine