Although I am a sucker for and will stop to gawk at holiday light displays, there is nothing warmer and more inviting than candlelight. One of my favorite candle panoramas of all time was a pared-down version of Diwali that I was treated to by a friend in her tiny San Francisco apartment.
All who celebrate Diwali wear new clothes and share food with friends and family. It reminds me of how Easter was celebrated in the predominantly Catholic community near my childhood home. There is a cleansing of the mind, body and soul followed with a symbolic welcoming of renewal.
Diwali is the "festival of lights" celebrated in places such as India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Guyana, and Suriname to name a few. According to my friend, the name "Diwali" is a contraction of the word "Deepavali" and this means "row of lamps".
Traditionally, lamps are filled with oil and kept on all night while the inhabitants of the home clean and prepare to welcome the goddess Lakshmi. To me, electric string lights pale in comparison to the warmth and vibrance of oil lamps or candles in paper lanterns. However, paper lanterns, or luminarias, are easily knocked over by wind, pets or children.
Using tissue paper cut into a snowflake pattern and some glitter, I can turn a plain glass bowl or candle holder into a sturdier, frosted luminaria. The best part is that the kids can get into the action and create their own masterpieces.
When attending a winter festival, secular or not, my favorite gift to bring is candlelight.
What you will need:
- Tissue Paper (recycled from gift bags; easier to decoupage with)
- Mod Podge
- Sponge applicator
- Glass* bowl or candle holder (* or plastic for the kids)
- Fold and cut the tissue paper into a snowflake design.
- Take your glass bowl or candle holder and center it onto the snowflake.
- Once you've figured out where it needs to be, dip the sponge applicator into the Mod Podge and begin coating your glass bowl/holder.
- Center the snowflake and gently pat into place.
- Continue applying Mod Podge to the remaining areas of the bowl/holder and pat snowflake in place, remembering to trim excess paper to avoid a double layer. Trim excess at the rim of the bowl as well.
- Allow to dry; usually half an hour.
- Once the first layer dries, begin applying another layer of Mod Podge then sprinkle, drizzle or drench with glitter (or other decorative accents) - it's up to you.