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Rose Pottermore

Festivities and Cultures..

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We all are from different places, different countries, different cultures, and yet unite at HOL. Here, you can discuss and share with others about the festivals you have in your country, how do you celebrate it, what's the story behind it, and more. Even though there might be a festival celebrated worldwide, everyone celebrates it in their own style! So, here, you can share how you enjoy your time! You can also share any particular thing you like about your culture, anything such!

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In my country, in India, there is a big festival going on : Diwali!

Diwali is a festival interrelated with another one, Dussehra.

The story behind them, which I have been told, was of a great king Rama, the king of Ayodhya, who defeated Ravana, because Ravana had kidnapped Sita, Rama's wife. It's an epic story in India, and Rama is considered as an avatar of Lord Vishnu (the creator of all worlds, one of the Trinity). On Dussehra, a dummy of Ravana is made, and is set to fire. This represents the victory of good over the bad, of righteousness over the wrong, and of courage over fear. Dussehra is celebrated becuase of this. Diwali is celebrated 20 days after Dussehra, is the Festival Of Lights. It marks the return of Rama, Sita and Lakshmana to Ayodhya. We light diyas (it's like a candle, earthenware like) all over the house, lighting every place. During these two festivals, people start cleaning their homes. Every place is dusted, from the attic to the ground. Things which are no use to the owners are thrown out, and useful possessions are cleansed and put back at their places. This festivals also tells us to throw away our anger and sadness, and have a new start with happiness and joy. Soan Papdi is the main dish of Diwali, while we share 'Pan' (It's a kind of eatable here) on Dussehra. We make a lot of snacks, Gujiyas, Chaklis, Meethe Pare, Namkeen Pare, Gulab Jamun, and many more. Dussehra or DIwali, none of these are one-day festivals. Diwali's celebrations go for 5 days,(actually more than this) and Dussehra is more too. People worship and pray to Gods and Goddesses, and enjoy the month. Lovely festival!

Anything you'll like to add, @Manya Granger?

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Yeah! Our country India is full of various cultures! The state from which I belong here we celebrate a festival just before Diwali is "Durgapuja" (Worship of Goddess Durga).
 

The story behind this which I know is is, when a evil 'Asur' (Kind of devil/monster) named Mahisasur was torturing the people of Martya (Earth), he had the blessings of Lord Shiva (an Indian God) that no man can defeat him.

 But he was making many troubles, and people went to the Gods praying to stop this.

Then the Gods decided to create a woman who will finish Mahisasur. Lord Brahma, Lord Bishnu , Lord Shiva, Lord Indra and many other Gods created Goddes Durga! 

It is believed that Durga has 10 hands and weapons in each hand, her main weapon was trisul (trident). She defeated Mahisasur by the Trisul.

Durgapuja is a sign of woman power. Durga is the wife of Shiva and it is believed that she comes to her father's house in the time when Durgapuja happens! 

At ancient time Durgapuja used to happen in April-May but now it happens in the month of October. Because the story which @Rose Pottermore told us there Rama worshiped Durga to defeat Ravana. We address her as Maa (Mother in Indian language), because a mother always saves her children from every kind of problem so that Maa Durga does! 
In some other states Durgapuja is also known as Navratri, we dance, we go to different temples and worship her. We made may kind of sweets and foods in this festive season, Diya is also used while worshiping Durga. We buy new clothes and celebrate this month by worshiping Maa Durga. :D

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