Why do Hindus celebrate Diwali?
The story of Ramayana is beautiful and multi-parted. These story cards are a fun way to help children remember parts of the Ramayana by using helpful visual prompts and cues. This of course is just a part of the story!
Create your own Diwali story cards - Instructions:
These story cards (Diwali coloring pages) are meant to be visual prompts for your littles to remember the story of Ramayan. Think of them as fun flash cards that can help them visualize and learn the story rather than a substitute for a book. Plus, this is a fun craft activity for kids to color and learn at the same time!
- Print and cut the story cards here:
- Color and decorate as desired!
- Use the blank cards to add additional parts cues or parts of the story.
- Use cards as is, laminate or attach to cardstock of the same size or slightly larger.
- Color and learn the story of Ramayana – the story below goes well with these cards.
Story (VERY abridged version!):
Once upon a time, there was a kind King Dasharath, who ruled the land of Ayodhya. King Dasharath had three wives: Queen Kaushalya, Queen Kaikeyi and Queen Sumitra. After much waiting and prayer, the King and Queens were blessed with one daughter and four sons: Shanta, Ram, Bharat, Lakshman, and Shatrughan. Dasharath’s four sons grew up to be intelligent and powerful warriors that helped to protect Ayodhya from the demon gods.
One day, there was a contest put on by King Janaka of Mithila. Whoever was able to pick up and string Lord Shiva’s bow would be allowed to marry his daughter, the kind and beautiful Sita. As this was Lord Shiva’s bow, only someone truly virtuous and would be able to pick up the bow and string. Many suitors tried, without any luck. When Ram approached the bow, he was able to do so effortlessly, even accidentally breaking the bow as he was stringing it! After proving his worthiness, Ram was allowed to marry Sita.
Of King Dasharath’s four sons, Ram was the oldest, and therefore the natural successor to the King’s throne. However, Queen Kaikeyi wanted her son Bharat to be the next king. So she went to Dasharath and demanded that the King honor two boons that she was granted (before the sons were born, Queen Kaikeyi saved King Dasharath while in a war with the demons, for which King Dashrath granted her two boons or wishes). The first boon was that her son Bharat would be named King; the second was that Ram must be banished to the forest for fourteen years.
Upon hearing this, King Dasharath was devastated as he loved his son Ram. However, Ram insisted that his father honor his promise and he dutifully agreed to go to the forest for fourteen years. His wife Site and loyal brother Lakshman also decided to go with Ram to the forest.
The three traveled through the forest for years, having to fight demons along the way. Meanwhile, King Dasharath is so sad, he ends up passing away. His son Bharat refused to become king as he believed Ram should be the true King. Bharat takes Ram’s sandals and keeps them at the throne to signify Ram is the true King of Ayodhya.
One day, the demoness Surpanakha, the evil demon King Ravan’s sister, met the three in the forest. She was immediately attracted to Ram, but Ram dismissed her as he loved Sita. So then, Surpanakha turned her attention to Lakshman, who also refused her. Angry, Surpanakha attacks the lovely Sita out of jealousy; Lakshman defends her and cuts off the demoness’ nose in the fight. Enraged, Surpanakha tells her brother about the ordeal and Ravan promises to avenge his sister.
Ravan decides to set up a trap for the three. He sends a beautiful golden deer into the forest. Sita sees the deer and asks Ram to capture it for her. Ram tells Lakshman to watch Sita and goes into the forest to chase the deer. Meanwhile, Ravan pretends to be Ram’s voice and calls out for help. Sita insists that Lakshman go after and save her husband Ram. After much hesitation, Lakshman draws a magic circle around Sita and tells her as long as she stays within the circle, she would be protected. As Ravan watches Lakshman go run into the forest after Ram, he transforms into an old man. He goes to Sita and pretends to need food and water. He tells Sita that she needs to come out and give him food and water as his is very old and weak. Being the kind person Sita is, she walked to the old man to give him food and water. Ravan turns into his demon form, kidnaps Sita, puts her in his magical chariot and flies her off to the land of Lanka.
When Ram and Lakshman come back, they are shocked to see Sita gone. They learn that she has been kidnapped by the evil Demon Ravan and enlist the help of Hanuman of the monkey people. Hanuman flies to Lanka and finds Sita in captivity. He quickly gives Sita Ram’s ring and tells her that they will be back to rescue her soon. Hanuman flies back to Lanka and tells Ram and Lakshman where Sita can be found. Ram and Lakshman have already been in battle with Ravan’s army. Hanuman’s army helps build a bridge over the water to Lanka so they all can cross into Lanka.
Upon arriving in Lanka, the battle continues between Ram and Ravan. Lakshman is badly injured and the army suggests that the healing herb in the Medicine Mountain in the Himalayas will cure him. So Hanuman flew to the Medicine Mountain and searched for the herb. He wasn’t quite sure which one was the healing herb, so he carried the mountain back to Lanka. The healing herb from the mountain healed Lakshman!
Meanwhile the battle between Ram and Ravan continued for days. Finally, Ram used his bow to kill Ravan once and for all. Hindus celebrate this victory of good over evil on Dusshera.
As their fourteen year banishment was over, Ram, Sita and Lakshman returned to their home of Ayodhya. The people were so excited about their return, they lit diyas (oil lamps) and decorated their homes and streets with Rangoli to welcome the trio home. This return to Ayodhya is what we celebrate on Diwali!