Starchild: How Malaysian kids celebrate the festival of lights


Erica Sofia, 12

Deepavali, which falls on Sunday, is one of the most vibrant and joyous festivals and is celebrated by millions of people around the world. It’s a time when families come together to illuminate their homes with colourful lights, celebrate familial bonds and enjoy delicious sweets and delicacies.

Deepavali, or Diwali, is an important religious festival for Hindus, but is also observed among Jains, Sikhs, and Buddhists. The word “Deepavali” means a row of lights. And that’s exactly what the festival is all about – spreading light and dispelling darkness.

One of the most famous stories associated with Deepavali is the return of Lord Rama to his kingdom after defeating the demon king Ravana. The people of his kingdom lit oil lamps to welcome him and celebrate his victory. This tradition continues today with the lighting of oil lamps and, these days, lighting fireworks either on the eve or on the day itself.

Families clean and decorate their homes with beautiful rangoli patterns made from colourful powders, flowers, and lights. People also wear new clothes. One of the most exciting parts for children is, of course, getting to see fireworks displays and playing with sparklers with loved ones.

No celebration is complete without delicious food. Families come together to share yummy food like chicken curry, idli, thosai, and treats like muruku, ladoos and jalebi.

Deepavali is also a time for charity and giving. Families often give to those less fortunate by donating clothes, food, and other essentials. It’s a reminder to share our blessings with others and spread happiness.

Recently Starchild asked readers to send in their letters on the topic, Deepavali. Here’s what they had to say.

Emelia Chandrani, 12Emelia Chandrani, 12

Emelia Chandrani, 12, thinks Deepavali is one of the “coolest” festivals ever.

“It’s not just about the yummy sweets and colourful lights, but it’s about something much bigger. The best part of Deepavali is the message it brings – the triumph of good over evil. We also get to decorate our homes with pretty patterns called rangoli. It’s like colouring on the ground but using colourful powders and flowers. I also look forward to getting new clothes and eating lots of wonderful food.”

“I look forward to spending time with my family this Deepavali. Perhaps we can watch a movie while snacking on my favourite muruku. Happy Deepavali to all who are celebrating the Festival of Lights,” says Bethany Wang Qi Syuen, eight.

Bethany Wang Qi Syuen, 8Bethany Wang Qi Syuen, 8

Younger sibling Asher Wang Qi Chuen, six, writes: “I would like to wish my Hindu friends a Happy Deepavali. I wish my kindergarten mates a happy holiday on this special day. I look forward to seeing some nice fireworks on Deepavali.”

Asher Wang Qi Chuen, 6Asher Wang Qi Chuen, 6

Erica Sofia, 12, wants to have fun with loved ones on Deepavali. “I can’t wait to play fireworks and sparklers with my friends and cousins! Deepavali teaches us to be kind, help others, and never give up. Just like Lord Rama, we can defeat the “Ravanas” in our lives – like mean thoughts or selfishness – with goodness and love.

“Deepavali is also about the spirit of giving. It’s a way to show we care about each other and spread happiness. Deepavali is not just a festival. It’s a time to celebrate the good inside all of us and make the world a brighter, happier place.”

“This Deepavali, I am going to gurdwara to pray for my late dadima (grandmother) who passed away last month. I pray she would be blessed to be a beautiful star in the sky. I hope she will continue to shine brightness to us. I will also pray for the souls of many children who lost their lives due to war happening in some parts of the world,” says Msherjit Singh, three.

Find the hidden words!Find the hidden words!

ITEM: Have you lost a tooth by accident or after a visit to the dentist? Did you leave the extracted tooth at the dentist’s or asked to take it home? Did you ever have a loose tooth after biting something hard? If so, were you able to shake and remove the tooth without going to the dentist?

Have you heard the story of the Tooth Fairy? Tell us about it. Do you believe in the Tooth Fairy? If you haven’t heard this story, ask your mum, dad or your friends. Draw the Tooth Fairy. If you get a chance to meet her, what would you ask for?

E-mail your contributions to lifestyle@thestar.com.my by Nov 24. Please put “STARCHILD: Tooth Fairy” in the subject line of your e-mail.

Scanned drawings should be in jpeg format, with a resolution of 200 dpi. Your contributions must carry your full name, age (open to children aged 12 and below only), gender, phone contact, and address. Instead of handwritten letters, please type out your letters.


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