Indian Holidays: Diwali and Durga Puja

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India is considered to be a spiritual and holy land where several religions are followed and many deities are worshipped. In India, Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism and Jainism are the main religions which are rigorously practiced and followed. The other native Indian religions include Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, and Parsism. n India peoples from various religions coexist together. “People from different religions celebrate their festivals. It is not that a particular festival is celebrated by the peoples of only particular religion but, people from other religions also plays a role in the celebration of the festival of other religions”. the holidays I did my research on was Diwali (Deepawali), and Durga Puja which Dussehra marks the end of.

Diwali or Deepawali is a festival of lights that’s celebrated annually across India, especially Norther, Western, and Eastern India. The festival celebrates the triumph of good over evil. The calendar days of Deepavail holidays is unique to me. Deepavail is celebrated on Saturday, 26 October 2019 and it is celebrated in Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Punjab, Telangana, and Tamil Nadu. Diwali is celebrated on Sunday, 27 October 2019 and it is celebrated in National except Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Punjab, Telangana, and Tamil Nadu. Lastly, Deepvali holiday is celebrated on Monday, 28 October 2019 and it is celebrated in Delhi, Haryana, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh. During the festival of Diwali, people light up their homes and commercial outlets. Lord Ganesh is worshipped for prosperity and welfare whereas Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped for wisdom and wealth. The festival usually falls in the months of November or October and is celebrated to mark the return of Lord Rama from 14 years of exile. In many parts of the country, the festival is celebrated for five consecutive days. “Undoubtedly, it is the most famous Indian festival, which is regarded as a celebration of life. In a few parts of the country, the festival denotes the beginning of the New Year. “The first day denotes the arrival of the new financial year for most Indian businesses. The business class worships Goddess Lakshmi for wealth. The second day is the day of cleansing. People take oil baths and wear new clothes. The third day is the day of the new moon. It is the official day of the Deepavali holiday. The fourth day is the Kartika Shudda Padyami. The fifth day, the final day of the festival, denotes the love between sisters and brothers.

Dussehra is celebrated across India every year. However, the customs and practices vary from state to state. “In the eastern states, it marks the end of Durga Puja, whereas it the northern and western states it marks the end of Ramlila.” It is celebrated on Tuesday of this year, October 8 2019, celebrated in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, and a few other states. Primarily celebrated in the states of West Bengal, Assam, Tripura, Odisha, and Bihar, Durga Puja happens to be one of the biggest festivals for Bengalis. “The festival celebrates Goddess Durga’s triumph over Asura.” However, it’s a 10-day festival, the last five days are considered to be the significant ones. Other than Goddess Durga, deities of Saraswati, Lakshmi, Ganesha, and Karthik are also worshipped. This year, Durga Puja will commence on the 29th of September and end on the 8th of October. Sunday to Tuesday, September 29th to October 8th and it is celebrated in the states of West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar, Assam, Tripura, and Odisha. Durga Puja’s first day is Mahalaya, which heralds the advent of the goddess. Celebrations and worship begin on Sasthi, the sixth day. During the following three days, the goddess is worshipped in her various forms as Durga, Lakshmi, and Sarasvati. The celebrations end with Vijaya Dashami (“Tenth Day of Victory”), when, amid loud chants and drumbeats, idols are carried in huge processions to local rivers, where they are immersed. That custom is symbolic of the departure of the deity to her home and to her husband, Shiva, in the Himalayas.

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