Sweetness and lights: celebrate Diwali with these sweet treats

On November 11th, Hindu communities in BC and around the world celebrate Diwali, the festival of lights. As the days grow shorter and darker, learn about this beautiful holiday with your kids, and light up your home with some of these sweet recipes!

Photo credit: Abhinaba Binsu, Creative Commons License 2.0 (http://bit.ly/1Qhr74m)

Diwali or Deepavali is a festival of lights and it’s celebrated in Hindu, Jain and Sikh communities in BC and around the world. This year, the multi-day festival begins on November 11th.  As the days grow shorter and darker, learn about this beautiful holiday with your kids, and light up your home with some of these sweet mithai recipes!

For Diwali, homes are cleaned, windows are opened and lamps are lit as families celebrate the triumph of light over darkness. Each day of the festival has its own special meaning and traditions that vary from region to region. Presents are exchanged, and games are played...and of course, no matter where you are, there’s lots of amazing food to eat.

One kind of traditional food associated with Diwali includes ”mithai”—sweet snacks that are prepared and shared with friends and neighbours. There’s a huge variety of different kinds of laddus, burfis or halwas to try, not to mention all the other sweets associated with the holiday.  Kids who are new to the kitchen can try their hand at making these simple Coconut Laddu—you just need a few basic ingredients to roll together these adorable treats, and if they don’t disappear immediately into your sous-chefs’ tummies, little ones will have fun decorating them with raisins, figs and nuts! Older kids who are comfortable using a food processor can try whizzing together this easy Cashew Burfi. Finally, this Pumpkin Halwa is a fun North American twist on a traditional sweet treat.

Once your kids enjoy a taste of these mithai, there are hundreds of other regional variations and delicacies for Diwali to try making together. To read more about the origins of Diwali, visit here and here, and for some amazing recipe ideas, visit here. We'd love to hear your recipes and ideas too—share them with us on our Twitter or Facebook feeds.

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