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Sweets and Crafts to Celebrate Diwali

Happy Diwali! Celebrate this special holiday with crafts, recipes, and light!

Margo Gothelf · 28 days ago

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Heeral Chhibber

Happy Diwali! This year, the Diwali celebration starts on November 4, so get ready for the festival of lights with these recipes and crafts. Decorate your house with Rangoli cards and designs, and fill the fridge with tons of sweet treats and snacks for a super sweet celebration. Just make sure to double the recipes, so you have plenty to share with your family and friends! 

Rangoli Suncatcher

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Red Ted Art

I know what you're thinking, black paper for a suncatcher? It's actually the secret in getting this Diwali-inspired suncatcher to shine to its maximum potential. The black construction paper allows the vividly colored tissue paper to be the star of the show and brings in all of the light for this bright holiday. Fill your windows with the colorful suncatchers and make a few to share with your family and friends this Diwali.

Paper Quilled Rangoli Pattern

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Red Ted Art

While you wait to dig into all the indulgent Diwali sweets (more on those below!), keep your hands busy with a paper quilled Rangoli design. Rangolis are staple decorations when it comes to Diwali. The intricate designs are typically constructed outside of the entrances of buildings to welcome in the Goddess Lakshmi, the god of wealth and good fortune. While the beautifully crafted designs are typically made with colored sand, flower petals, or colored rice powder, this version switches up the material and swaps in the technique of paper quilling. The method may take a few tries to figure out, but once you get the hang of it, you'll be a paper quilling machine. 

Traditional Paper Lantern

Paper never looked so good! Easily transform simple materials into stunning works of art with this paper lamp tutorial. Unlike art projects that encourage you to be abstract and just go with it, this one is all about precision. Seriously, we're talking about rulers and exact cuts — so maybe wait to give this one a try until you've got all those motor skills down pat. Get started on the cuts a few days before the celebration begins so you can show off the lanterns throughout the festival of lights.  

Paper Diya

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The Crafty Angel

Diyas are lanterns used during Diwali, typically made out of clay or brass, and show off their flame with a cotton wick dipped in ghee. During Diwali, the diyas hold a special meaning and welcome in enlightenment and wisdom. While these 3D paper diyas from The Crafty Angel won't have a flame, they will still shine bright during the joyous celebration.

Rangoli Salt Art

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The Educators' Spin on It

Break out the salt and food coloring and forget everything you know about playing with your food. But only while you make this Rangoli-inspired salt art project! Rangolis can be made with a whole lot of different materials, including colored salt. Use the salt just like you would glitter on glue, and have a keepsake to hang on the fridge to celebrate Diwali.

Chirote

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Vegetarian Taste Buds

Diwali doesn't hold back when it comes to sweets, which are an essential element of the festival of light. And not just because they taste good! Sharing sweets with your elders, neighbors, and friends is an important part of the Diwali tradition of sharing. And Chirote is the perfect sweet share: The flakey dough is fried and then covered in a sugary syrup. Truly, nothing not to like. 

Moong Dal Halwa

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Whisk Affair

You may not be used to seeing lentils in a dessert, but in Moong Dal Halwa, they are the star ingredient of this sweet Indian treat. The dessert is especially popular for weddings and special occasions, including Diwali. Get ready to show off your muscles when making this decadent treat: There's a whole lot of stirring needed to get the consistency just right. So it's perfect for the whole family to get involved and take shifts mixing before sampling the sweet treat.

Aloo Bonda

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Whisk Affair

How many Aloo Bonda is too many Aloo Bonda? That's the question you'll be asking yourself after you pop one of these addicting fritters into your mouth. The fritters may look simple on the outside, but don't doubt their appearance. The recipe from The Whisk Affair is packed with spices and flavors. Seriously, there are over 10 spices in the filling alone. This is going to be one recipe from your Diwali celebration that you're going to want to make all year round. 

Gulab Jamun

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Cook With Manali

A Diwali celebration wouldn't be complete without Gulab Jamun. The deep-fried sweets have a similar texture to a donut and will instantly melt in your mouth. Oh, and did I mention they are dipped in rose-cardamom flavored sugar syrup? Drooling yet? Traditional Gulab Jamun is made with khoya, or milk solids. Making khoya from scratch is an easy process but can take a very long time, so take the advice from Cook With Manali and buy some from your local Indian grocery store instead. The khoya then gets combined with maida (flour) and a whole lot of spices to make an irresistible treat.

​​Sweet Potato Mini Samosas

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The Twin Cooking Project

Every food culture has its version of a dumpling: From kreplach and gyoza to pierogis and wontons, there are endless variations. In India, the dumpling is a samosa. So what's inside a samosa? The dough wrappers are stuffed with potato, peas, and loads of spices — and then deep-fried. This variation from The Twin Cooking Project switches up the traditional recipe and uses sweet potatoes for the filling for a just-as-tasty treat. Double the recipe and put half in the freezer to munch on for weeks to come!

Diwali Sugar Cookies

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Whisk Affair

Part art project, part baking project, and fully delicious. These sugar cookies may not be a traditional Indian dessert, but they will show off all of the best parts of Diwali. When picking out colors to frost the cookies, make sure to choose your boldest and brightest ones to really show off the diya and Rangoli patterns. Part of celebrating Diwali is getting to share sweet treats with those around you, and these cookies are perfect for just that. Plus, they even hold up well in the mail, so they can be shipped off to your friends and family so they can get in on the Diwali celebration. 

Milk Barfi

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Cook With Kushi

Still have room for some more sweets? We all know the answer is yes. Meet your quota on your sweet tooth and fill up with barfi. The traditional Indian dessert is a milk-based treat and has a similar consistency to fudge. The milk barfi from Cook With Kushi is one to try out this Diwali. This recipe is topped with almonds, but you can use any nut or dried fruit to finish it off.