Divali • Holi • Navaratri • Summary
Divali • Divali is the Hindu new year and the festival of lights. • The festival is associated with the story of the Ramayana. • Lakshmi is worshipped, as the goddess of wealth it is hoped that she will bring wealth to people in the new year, so houses are lit with Diva lamps to mark Lakshmi’s route to the house and to recall Rama & Sita’s return from their exile. • Fireworks are set off and homes are decorated with lights.
Holi • Holi is a springtime festival. • It is associated with the stories of Holika & Prahlad and Krishna. • Fires are burnt at Holi and water and coloured powders are thrown over people. • Holi is similar to April Fool’s Day.
Navaratri • Navaratri is a West Bengal festival celebrating Durga. • It is associated with the story of Durga’s defeat of the buffalo demon. • Navaratri lasts 10 days – Women congregate in the Mandir and dance. • There will usually be a six-sided shrine called a Madh in the Mandir – a deity usually Lakshmi is worshipped in the Madh at Navaratri.
Summary • Holi is a spring festival connected with stories of Holika and Krishna. • Divali is the new year and festival of light connected with the Ramayana and Lakshmi. • Navaratri is associated with Durga and is celebrated in the Mandir.