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Indian Festivals

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Indian Festivals
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<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Deepavali: Festival of Lights: Based on a talk by Rama Srinivasan:

Deepavali is celebrated for three days, as Naraka Chaturdasi, Lakshmi Pooja and Bali Padyami. It is said that Ugadi is feast for food and Deepavali is feast for bath.(Undu Ugadi, Mindu Deepavali). Naraka Chaturdasi is the day on which Krishna killed the demon Narakasura and gave him Moksha. At the time of death he desired that the people should celebrate it as a festival, in view of his past misdeeds. It has now remained as practice to have an oil bath before sunrise on the Naraka Chaturdasi day, amidst fire works. The previous day (Thrayodasi) is known as Neeru Thumbuva Habba, when all the water carrying and boiling vessels are cleaned well in the evening, decorated with mango leaves, flowers, Shanka, Chakra, and Namam. Presently water geysers or boilers are given the pride of place. The entire Pooja is in the name of God Krishna, who saved the world from Narakasura. It is usual practice to make Kolakatte or Kadubu for Pooja. After the early morning bath, everyone wears new dresses. The whole day is celebrated with grandeur, fireworks and meeting relatives. In the night Oil lamps are lit inside and outside the houses, to denote arrival of brightness after death of Narakasura. It will be a sight and Heaven on Earth, when lamps are glowing on both sides of the street.

On the next day which is New moon day(Amavasya), business community performs Lakshmi Pooja in the establishments, and open new account books for the New Year. They distribute Sweet packets to associates, friends and relatives and celebrate with fireworks.

Mahabali, who was pressed down to Pathala Loka, in Vamana Avatara, comes to visit his citizens on this earth, once every year, on Balipadyami day, which is the third day of Deepavali. Citizens have made it a practice to Welcome Bali in grandeur with sweets, lamps, new dresses, and fire works, as Bali gave away everything to god as gift. It is also customary to recite Vishnu Sahasranamam in the evening after lighting lamps all over. Mandyam Iyengars of Bharadwaja Gothram celebrates only Balipadyami.

You would have observed that men and women are blessed before oil bath, by application of a few drops of oil, by elder women in the family. The person is made to sit on a platform, which is decorated with Rangoli designs, lamps on both sides. The person is applied Kumkum on the forehead, handed betel leaf, nut, and arathi is done. The elderly lady will take the oil cup and dip a flower bud in it and apply drops of it on the inside of the left arm, chanting names of men or women of great achievement.



Enney ShatsramSadPooja for Oil Bath):

For men the names of Seven achievers to be recited are as follows :
<i>
" Ashwthamo, Balir Vyaso, Hanumanshcha, Vibhishanaha,

Krupaha Parashuramashcha,Saptaite Chirangivinaha"</i>

For women the five names are as follows:
<i>
"Ahalya, Draupati, Seetha, Tara, Mandodari Tatha,

Panchakanyaha Smarennithyam Mahapataka Nashanam"</i>

Reciting as above, the oil from drops set on the arm, is taken in the fingers by the lady and applied to the head, cheeks, shoulders, waist, knees and feet, repeated three times. It is Ashirvadam for the youngster to live long and prosperously.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
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Indian Festivals - by Guest - 01-04-2004, 04:32 AM
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