Enter the Diwali Art Competition 2023
Prizes up to £450

Enter the Diwali Art Competition 2023 Prizes up to £450​

The Diwali art competition is a great way to find out more about the rich cultural heritage associated with Diwali, the Festival of Light. It is celebrated by billions of people across the globe from many different cultural backgrounds. It is also an opportunity to embrace the values the festival embodies – to be a light in the darkness.

Art at the Heart can support schools and community groups to learn more about the festival and join in the celebrations.

How your school or community group can get involved in the Diwali 2023 celebrations

Take advantage of the following opportunities:

  • Promote the competition to your school/group community – individual and group prizes.
  • Interactive shadow puppet workshops (+ advance bookings for next year at 2023 prices)
  • Make a commitment to being a light in the darkness by making a giant lantern for the festival (kits available)
  • Promote the Sari Sari Night lantern parade on the 9th of November to your community and bring your lanterns, torches/mobiles to join the parade 

Enter the Diwali 2023 art competition!

Take part in our Diwali art competition for the chance to win prizes worth up to £450!

This competition is open to children aged 7-13.

Schools/organisations that work with children can enter children collectively for the chance to win a free workshop worth £150. 

First Prize

To the value of £50

Art materials to support your creative journey

Runner up prize

To the value of £15

Me&MyPencil drawing workshops to develop drawing skills and supporting art materials

Prize for schools or organisations

£150 voucher*

*which can be redeemed against a Me&MyPencil drawing workshop for up to 15 children in prizewinner’s class if class entry submitted by school. (Additional places may be purchased).

Competition Guidelines

  • Create an imaginative interpretation of one of the following characters from the Diwali story: Ravana, the ten-headed demon king who steals Sita away? Or the golden deer (of deception)? The choice is yours!
  • Any art materials can be used to create the artwork with drawing strongly encouraged
  • Artwork size: minimum A4 and maximum A3
  • One character per entry, multiple entries allowed.
  • We’ll be looking for technical skill, good composition and creative imaginations.

How to enter

  • Securely fix a label to your artwork with your name, age and contact information (so we can contact winners)
  • Send original artwork to: Box Office, The Core, Solihull by 5pm, 2nd November 2023. Include a stamped, addressed (to yourself) envelope for return of artwork if desired.
  • Artwork will be judged in 2 age categories with prizes for each: 7-10 and 11-13 
  • Winners will be announced at the Core at approx. 7pm after the Sari Sari Night Lantern Parade ending at The Core on Thursday 9th November.

For parents

Please ensure that your child’s artwork is labelled. This is so that we can identify it for return. You can download the labels below. 

For schools/organisations

If you would like to put your pupils or children forward for the competition, please click the button below to be taken to our school registration page. Then please fill in the relevant information.

Schools Workshops, 9th November

The Core, Solihull B91 3RG

Dedicated workshops for schools will be available to book on the 9th of November, in order to make giant lanterns with your school’s name for display in the lantern parade or giant rangoli for good fortune. The giant community lanterns to celebrate the Festival of Light are a fantastic way to symbolise your commitment to be a light in the darkness for your community. Limited availability due to capacity so book as soon as possible.

Afterwards come and see the lanterns and be part of the Solihull town centre Diwali lantern parade on November 9th where we will spotlight all those contributing a giant lantern.

Giant Lanterns

Giant Rangoli

Order Your DIY Giant Lantern Making Kits

Order a DIY kit for making your own giant lantern with a class or community group, £75 (special offer for Solihull CEP members, £50). Please order before 16th of October at the latest. Kits will come with basic structure made-up for decorating. Allow 1-2 days for decoration. Ideas for decoration provided or do your own thing. 

Order your kit below by emailing or use the website contact form.

Let us know 

  1. How many giant lantern kits you need
  2. How you will be paying 
  3. Order by 16th October (allow 3-4 days for delivery)


Book a workshop in your own setting –let us do the travelling!

Work alongside artist educators to design your own shadow puppets and scenery for a shadow theatre retelling of Rama’s exile from his kingdom, the kidnapping of Sita and the defeat of the demon king Ravana and how the tradition of rows of lighted lamps (deepavali to Diwali) was born. (Cultural diversity in the curriculum, heritage and identity, exploring the creative industries, Arts Award opportunity, PSHE, SMSC). Please contact Art at the Heart for further information using the form below. We aim to get back to you within 48 hours. Diwali workshops can be booked until Christmas or book in advance for 2024. Workshops can be tailored to suit requirements.

Book our interactive 


for storytelling with artists with relevant heritage


    The Diwali shadow puppetry assembly you created with the children was delightful.  For me, I felt sheer joy as I watched the children watching the shadow puppetry and for this reason ... Watching the children that day gave me hope. All of them were completely focussed on this ancient form of storytelling, which uses nothing more than light, cut out figures, a translucent screen and oral storytelling.  Thank you to Art at the Heart for reminding us of the power of art. Sue

    Sue McCutcheon

    Deputy Headteacher, Langley Primary School

    We can’t praise AHCIC enough for the superb project they led with our students on Diwali: Shadows & Light. It was so inspiring to see our students work with Mukesh to live their philosophy of collaborative based project work in action. ... Mukesh’s skill in motivating and challenging them really captivated their interest and enthusiasm. The final artwork was outstanding, and now is on display in pride of place in our conference suite! Just a fantastic project from start to finish!

    Marie McMahon

    Executive Principal Ormiston Academy

    Sari Sari Night Lantern Parade

    9th November, Sari Sari Night Lantern Parade

    Sari Sari Night is a chance to get out your sparkliest saris, party clothes and maybe dust off those prom dresses. Gentlemen don’t be shy: wear a turban if you dare or how about a patterned waistcoat? Traditional dress is welcomed but not compulsory! Dress up, glow up and sparkle on this starry, starry night to celebrate Diwali with a lantern parade through Solihull town centre. Wind up in Theatre Square, where Diwali lanterns will be hung. Add your Diwali wishes to the Diwali wish wall and set your intentions for the coming year.

    Competition Winners Announced 

    The competition winners will be announced at 7pm and prizes presented. Enjoy an evening of traditional music, traditional and Bollywood dancing from the community and of course traditional celebratory food!

    Lights in the Darkness

    We’ll be acknowledging all those organisations who aspire to being a light in the darkness symbolised by the giant lanterns. 

    What is Diwali?

    Enthroned Rama and Sita receive homage from their monkey and bear allies. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

    Diwali is the festival of lights, celebrating new beginnings and the triumph of good over evil, and light over darkness. The word Diwali comes from the Sanskrit word deepavali, meaning “rows of lighted lamps”. It’s all about inviting good things into your life—health, wealth and prosperity.

    In the Diwali story, a warrior prince called Rama was married to a princess called Sita. Ravana, an evil king with 10 heads and 20 arms, kidnapped Sita to make her his wife. Rama went to rescue Sita with the help of the monkey god Hanuman. After a battle between good and evil, Rama defeated Ravana with a golden arrow. 

    People celebrate Diwali by lighting lamps and leaving doors and windows open for the Hindu goddess of wealth, Lakshmi. There are also huge firework displays to celebrate, and people exchange gifts of sweets and dried fruit.

    Free resources

    These resources are produced by young local artists supported by Art at the Heart. Support their work by acknowledging the artists with your groups. These sheets show a simplified Indian miniature inspired design and encourage children to also design their own.

    Tell us where to send your free printable



      Thank you for supporting Diwali: Shadows, Lights and Lantern Parade 2023

      Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council logo including coat of arms with motto 'urbs in rure'
      The Core
      Tektura wall coverings

      About Art at the Heart CIC

      We empower young people to smash through glass ceilings. Talent is everywhere, but opportunity is not. Every child has the right to benefit from an arts rich education. All children deserve to get their best start in life to maximise opportunities for success. We make art accessible through tailored projects, regular art classes and community events. You can view our portfolio here

      We help young people to dream big, own their identity and ideas, encouraging the youth of today to become the change makers of tomorrow. Our Diwali 2022 event is part of our mission to bring art and its wellbeing and health benefits to your family. 

      Art at the Heart CIC is grateful for the support given by the Emergency Response fund and the Culture Recovery Fund which has helped us through the pandemic and without which we would not have been able to continue our work. #HereForCulture

      This is a live page that is regularly updated.