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Hinduism; Festivals/Holidays/Symbols

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These are some Hindu festivals, rituals, and symbols.

There are many Hindu festivals. They are joyous, colourful occasions. They celebrate the birthdays of important deities and seasonal changes.

Diwali
This is a festival of lights. It is celebrated over a time period of five days at the end of October or the start of November. Hindus set off fireworks, decorate their houses with lights, give gifts, and wear new clothes to celebrate the triumph of good and knowledge over the dark forces of evil and ignorance. Honours Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and good fotune, and Vishnu, who defeated the demon Naraka.

Mahashivaratri
This event is on the day before the new moon, during February. This is a special event dedicated to the devotion of Shiva. Thwy worship him, keep vigil, and fast for twenty-four hours. Between midnight and sunrise, worship him by repeating his name and placing flowers and grains on his image. Water is poured in a steady stream from a copper vessel suspended over the image.

Holi
Holi is during the spring, normally sometime in March on the full-moon day of the last month on the Hindu Calendar. A fire is lite the night before to signifie the burning og evil. All ages of Hindus join in the merriment of squirting coloured water on friends and family members. They distribute and eat sweets and other foods.

Navaratri
This is held in the spring or autumn, called the 'Nine Nights'. The first three nights is spent worshipping the goddess Durga. The next three nights are spent offering puja to Lakshmi. The final three nights is spent dedicated to Saraswati. On the tenth night, worshippers observe Vijayadasami, also known as the Day of Victory.

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Symbols & Icons
Symbols represent an aspect of Brahman serve as personal aids and reminders of this divine spirit. There are many Hindu symbols which are considered sacred.
 
Swastika
  • Good luck symbol represents 'well-being'.
  • Illustrated in red.
  • Used on wedding invitations, decorative drawings, testiles, and in rituals to bring good luck and protect against evil.

Om

  • Used to syllable as a mantra to evoke the supreme essence of Brahman.
  • Contain the secrets of the universe.
  • Is chanted at the beginning of prayers, blessings, and meditation.
  • Means to gain enlightenment.

 

World Religions; HRT3M; Summative ISU