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Work together to create a traditional decorated doorway in the spirit of Diwali, the Hindu year-end holiday.
Before Diwali begins in India and other countries, households prepare their homes to celebrate this Hindu year-end holiday. Houses are cleaned from top to bottom. Special foods are cooked. (Sweets are a favorite.) New clothes are bought and readied for the occasion. Homes and businesses are decorated to greet the 5-day Festival of Lights. Ask students what they think are some of the reasons for this preparation?
Stories of Hindu gods and goddesses are told at Diwali. Lakshmi, the goddess who symbolizes good fortune and wealth, is honored because it is believed that Lakshmi only blesses clean houses. Lots of lights and colors are used to decorate homes. Doorways of Hindu homes are adorned with draped, printed fabric called Toran, which may have pictures of peacocks or elephants. Many Toran have sacred symbols like Oum, which is the sound that begins and ends a prayer.
Measure the upper outside width of the classroom doorway. Cut white fabric with Crayola® Scissors to fit around the top, with pieces hanging down on either side of the door. For a more finished look, hem all sides.
Students research Diwali symbols and select one or more that they want to print on the door hanging. Cut the sides off of one or more foam produce trays. Students etch designs in each tray with Crayola Colored Pencils to make printing blocks. The designs will print in reverse.
Cover the work area with recycled newspaper. Lay the fabric flat on recycled newspaper.
Students paint a printing block with Crayola Tempera Paint then press the printing block down on the fabric repeatedly to fill the space. Add more paint as needed. Repeat with different colors or designs. Wash the printing block and brush when changing colors. Dry.
Add more embellishments to the Diwali Doorway designs with Crayola Washable Glitter Glue. Dry.
Yarn tassels may be hung from the fabric ends. Welcome to all who pass through this decorated entrance!
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