April marks spring celebrations amongst various cultures around the world; Vesak celebrates Buddha’s birthday, Songkran is celebrated in Thailand, and Puthandu is the Tamil New Year. In Northern India, Vaisakhi (also known as Baisakhi) is celebrated on April 14th.
Although Vaisakhi is celebrated by Hindus and Buddhists as a harvest festival, the holiday holds special meaning for Sikhs. In 1699, a new generation of social change and activism was born, called the Khalsa. The five core Khalsa values are:
- Daya = kindness
- Dharam = fairness
- Himmat = courage
- Mohkem = determination
- Sahib = strength
The Khalsa were crowned with turbans to stand out from the crowd. They were leaders whose actions spoke louder than words. Men were named Singh (lion) and women were named Kaur (lioness).
Regardless of faith or background, all parents want to see their children grow to be kind, fair, courageous, determined, and strong individuals. Why not use Vaisakhi as a teachable moment? Share this holiday with your little ones with this fun and easy to do craft.
Lion Mask Craft
What you’ll need:
- Paper plate
- Black marker
- Yellow or orange construction paper
- Tissue/crepe paper in various shades of orange and yellow (yarn, strips of construction paper, or ribbon will also do the trick)
- elastic or string
- Cut out two eye holes in your paper plate.
- Draw a lion’s nose and mouth under the eyes.
- Cut out two ears with the yellow/orange construction paper and glue it to the top of the paper plate.
- Now create the lion’s mane using crepe or tissue paper all around the head.
- Poke a hole on either side of the lion to thread the string or elastic through. Tie the string securely.
- Put on the mask, and play pretend!
Will your lion be kind, courageous, and strong? Will your lion show determination and fairness? Use your masks to role play a lion story. Let your child take the lead and you’ll be amazed at where their imagination will take you!