Pupils from primary schools across County Durham learnt how people of different religions use light to celebrate their faith at a festival this month.

 Over 100 children, from years 4 and 5, were invited to the Festival of Lights, organised by Durham County Council’s international team, where they enjoyed arts, stories, games and more.

The children from Blue Coat Church of England, Rosa Street, Langley Park and St Mary’s South Stanley junior schools, met with leaders from the Hindu, Jewish, Sikh, Buddhist, Muslim and Christian community to learn how each faith uses light to celebrate important events in its calendar.

Brian Stobie, the council’s international officer, said: “Events like this one are not only great fun but also help young people to learn about a range of beliefs and cultures. Everyone here today has really enjoyed exploring the similarities and differences in the way people use light to celebrate events that are important to them.

“Sharing traditions is a fantastic way to introduce children to the different events that take place within their own communities and help them to understand the wider world.”

As well as enjoying stories and games, pupils got creative, trying traditional Indian arts as part of a celebration of the Hindu festival Diwali.

The group used coloured rice, dry flour, coloured sand and flower petals to create bright and beautiful Rangoli patterns, traditionally drawn on the floor to welcome guests.

They also learnt about lotus flower making and took part in an Indian board game.

A vibrant finale saw the children take part in a colourful and energetic Indian dance workshop.