A Diwali and Halloween mash-up in London …

pumpkins, act 1 - I love carving pumpkins for Halloween, and rarely pass up an opportunity to share a story or snippet from Indian mythology with my boys. As a result, we’ve had some unusual pumpkins over the years. This is the first of our distinctly Indian Halloween pumpkins.

A couple of years ago, Diwali and Halloween were a day apart, which meant it was very difficult to engage my boys in Diwali prep. I was battling ghouls and ghosts and the solid advertising power of British commerce for their attention.

I wanted a Diwali party, the boys of course wanted to call their friends around for Halloween. Team Mum for Diwali employed diversionary tactics, while “Boys 4 Halloween” went for full-on horror. Both sides were evenly matched and equally determined, and it very much looked like there would be no party that year. Until…


…both teams arrived at the happy compromise of Diwalleen.

Star of the party was our pumpkin – not one, but TEN!

Inspired by the children’s Ramayana book with its fantastic illustrations from Sanjay Patel, we went for a 10-headed Ravana pumpkin. We decided no two faces should look the same, and had tremendous fun exploring all manner of frowns, scowls, and grimaces in our pumpkin carving. Fearsome moustaches and formidable eyebrows appeared from leftover black felt in the craft box.

Rampaging Ravana was a huge hit with our little guests, who took turns raiding the dress-up box for crowns, swords, and my entire stock of costume jewellery. Little Ramas, Sitas, Ravanas (and a lone little Stormtrooper!) staged spontaneous immersive Ramayana theatre on the spot, bringing our Diwalleen party to life better than we could have hoped.