Yesterday, Y4 participated in an RE role-play lesson, led by Mrs Mulhall (who, interestingly, spent time teaching in India). The children role-played the aarti ritual. They wore headscarves to remind themselves that the were role-playing. Mahashivratri is a Hindu festival dedicated to Lord Shiva – one of the deities of the Hindu Trinity. Hindus will celebrate Mahashivaratri across the world next month on March 8.

While most Hindu festivals are celebrated during the day, Mahashivratri is celebrated during the night and day that come just before the new moon. Each new moon is dedicated to Shiva, but Mahashivratri is especially important because it is the night when he danced the ‘Tandav’, his cosmic dance. Tradition says that Shiva, like his symbol of the new moon, appeared to save the world from darkness and ignorance before the world entered complete darkness.

Devotees of Shiva observe a fast during Mahashivratri and stay up all night at a place of worship. Shiva is offered special food made from the fruits of the season, root vegetables, and coconuts, during ritual worship. Yesterday, during the role-play, children laid down leaves that they had drawn personalised with text and coloured.

17th January 2024