How to celebrate Chhat Puja
Celebrations and dates
Originally the festival of the fertility of the earth and rich harvests Holi Today known as the Festival of Colors, with which the beginning of spring is celebrated and Vishnu, Krishna and his consort Radha are venerated. For some, the name of the festival is derived from Holika, the demoness whose supernatural powers are destroyed by Prahlad, an avid worshiper of Vishnu.
On the eve of the festival, fires are lit and images of Holika are burned. At Holi, in an exuberant atmosphere reminiscent of the carnival, people splash each other with colored water and colored pigments of colors (yellow, red, purple, green, etc.) that are considered to bring good luck. The festival puts the population in a cheerful mood, comparable to that between the god Krishna and the cowherdesses (gopi) prevails in the mythical forest of Vrindavan. Towards the end of the festival everyone is washing up and visiting their families and friends in white clothes. In doing so, they also put an end to the temporary lifting of the barriers that normally apply to members of society. Holi is also an opportunity to share festive food with other people.
The Hindu year has four series of nine nights (navaratra), those for the cult (puja) favorable to the goddess. The fall series is the cheapest, and today the most celebrated. The goddess Durga is celebrated in Bengal: all deities give her the dangerous task of destroying the buffalo demon Mahishasura. The goddess, depicted in her warlike aspect, will spend several days in the many specially built shrines adorned with her divine image (pandals) celebrated. In the «victory on the tenth day» (vijayadashami) this image is carried to the next body of water (pond or Ganges), where it is immersed in the water to applause: «Mother's victory!».
The festivities on Diwali take several days. A specific deity is celebrated every day, in keeping with traditions that vary from region to region. Most important is the new moon day of the month Kartika. He is consecrated to Lakshmi, goddess of well-being. To lure Lakshmi into her house, the women decorate the doorstep with colored geometric ornaments, in northern India rangoli called. When it gets dark they light small oil lamps and put them in the window. The light emitted symbolizes the presence of the goddess. To drive away the evil spirits, the children set off fireworks and throw firecrackers. In general, with this festival, the Hindus celebrate the victory of light over darkness and, in a broader sense, the victory of good over evil. In northern India, the festival also commemorates a mythical event: the return of King Rama from exile after his victory over the demon Ravana. The designation Dipavali means "rows of lamps" and reminds of the path filled with lamps that shone for the king and his wife and that the couple celebrated on their return to the kingdom.
At Diwali there is a lot of entertainment (shows, fairs, etc.) as well as splendid celebrations. Close relatives give each other presents, you wear new clothes and enjoy a variety of sweets.
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