Youth Voices – Hindu holidays

By Shital Patel

India celebrates so many holidays just like any other country. Some holidays are Diwali, Holi and Raksha Bandhan.

Diwali also called the “festival of lights” is an ancient Hindu festival celebrated in autumn every year. It’s one of the biggest and most celebrated of all Hindu festivals. The festival signifies the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil and hope over despair. The festival typically lasts about five days. Before Diwali night, people clean, renovate and decorate their homes, and on the night of Diwali, Hindus dress up in new outfits and light up divas (little candles). People exchange gifts between friends and family. It’s almost like Christmas but earlier! Later on they have a Laxmi Puja in the evening and seek divine blessings of the Goddess of Wealth, Laxmi.

Holi is a really fun festival in India and celebrates the festival of colors. On this day people of all ages gather to have so much fun. Everyone is dressed in white and everyone has colorful powder in his or her hands or a water gun filled with water mixed with food coloring to add color. Everyone throws the colorful water at each other and squirt everyone with the water guns. By the end of the day, everyone is covered in different colors!

Raksha Bandhan is another holiday that Hindus love, especially the girls. Raksha Bandhan is a day for brother and sisters, where the brother promises to protect their sister forever. Sisters tie a sacred thread on their brother’s hand and in return, the brother in return promises to protect her and gives her money and lots of gifts. The thread represents protect and is filled with love and affection of a sister for her brother. That thread is considered a strong and inseparable bond of love and trust between siblings. Indian holidays and festivals are so much fun and I love when the holidays come around!

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