On November 3, Diwali was celebrated all over India. It is a festival of light because this is the day Lord Rama came back to the capital city of his kingdom after being sent away for 14 years. On this day, we also celebrated Diwali in our school. During the day we prepared for the evening celebration. We put all the fire crackers on the stairs to dry them in the sunlight. We cleaned the prayer hall and put idols of the Lord Ganesha and Goddess Lakshmi at the altar which we set up there. We also made a colourful rangoli (drawing with colored powder) of a big earthen lamp and flowers on the floor outside the prayer hall.
In the evening, all the children, staff and volunteers came to the prayer hall to do the prayers. Everyone was singing loudly and having lots of fun during the pooja. At the pooja, we had a small metal place with a lamp and incense that we circled around the altar. Achi Sangey Tsering rang a bell loudly, which broke, but he fixed it with a khada. After the prayers, we all got a tika (small dot) on our forehead and we ate prasad (holy offering). Then, we went to eat dinner which the kitchen staff made specially for the festival. We had paneer (cottage cheese), rice, papad (fried thin gram bread), dal and salad. After everyone had dinner, we all came back to the ground in front of prayer hall for bursting the fire crackers. Before we started bursting them, Gen la told all of us to be careful and not go very close to the bursting crackers. Teachers and our older brothers and sisters gave us sparklers to burn. Our achis (older brothers) and older staff members burst the loud fire crackers inside a big drum and they made a lot of noise. They also burst some sparklers that erupted. I enjoyed playing with the small sparklers and round floor wheels. We jumped over the floor wheels while they were burning.
I enjoyed bursting the crackers, watching them and the rockets that went up in the air. I also had fun watching achis run after they burst a loud fire cracker. Even the shy children had lots of fun playing with the fire crackers. They were also jumping over the round floor wheels. By the end of the day, we were very tired and sleepy, but we enjoyed a lot celebrating the festival. When all the crackers were finished, we went to sleep.
Next day, the younger children jumped all over the rangoli and destroyed it. Then we all cleaned up our school and we enjoyed the holiday!