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Holy Days
There are many holy occasions in Hinduism, one being Diwali, the festival of lights.

Holy Days

It has been said that Hindus have a holiday for every day of the year, but even that may be an understatement! Exactly how many Hindu festivals are celebrated is not known, but one scholar of Hinduism has listed more than a thousand different Hindu festivals.

As in most ancient religions, many of the Hindu holidays are based on the cycle of nature. They mark the change of seasons, celebrate the harvest, and encourage fertility of the land. Others are dedicated to a particular deity, such as Shiva or Ganesh, and some more holidays commemorate events in the lives of Rama or Krishna.

In addition to the major Hindu festivals that are celebrated throughout India, many regional festivals are also held in honour of various deities.

In general, Hindu festivals are intended to purify, avert malicious influences, renew society, bridge over critical moments, and stimulate or resuscitate the vital powers of nature. They include a wide variety of rituals, including worship, prayer, processions, magical acts, music, dancing, lovemaking, eating, drinking and feeding the poor.

Major festivals likely to be observed by most Hindus are:

Holi (also called Holaka or Phagwa). An annual festival celebrated on the day after the full moon in the Hindu month of Phalguna (early March). It celebrates spring, commemorates various events in Hindu mythology and is time of disregarding social norms and indulging in general merrymaking. Holi is probably the least religious of Hindu holidays.

Diwali (from the Sanskrit word Dīpãvali, meaning "row of lights"). A Hindu festival of lights lasting five days. For many Hindus, Diwali is also New Year's Eve. Diwali is held on the final day of the Vikram calendar, a variant Hindu calendar followed by Northern Indians.

Mahashivaratri (also called Shiva Ratri), the Great Festival of Shiva. It is held on the 14th day of the dark half of the lunar month of Phalguna. Mahashivaratri is especially important to Saivites (devotees of Shiva), but it is celebrated by most Hindus.

Some other sacred days are:

Rama Navami - birthday of Lord Rama (April).
Krishna Jayanti - birthday of Lord Krishna (July-August).
Raksabandhana - renewing bonds between brothers and sisters (July-August).
Kumbh Mela - pilgrimage every 12 years to four cities in India (July-August; last one 2003).
Ganesha-Chaturthi (Ganesha Utsava) - festival of Ganesh (August-September).
Dassera - victory of Rama over demon king Ravana (September-October).
Navaratri - festival of Shakti (in Bengal) or Rama's victory over Ravana (South India) (September-October).

1.
Which is the largest Hindu festival in West Bengal?
Durga Puja
Ram navami
Karthikai Deepam
Radhastami
Durga Puja, also referred to as Durgotsava or Sharadotsav, is an annual Hindu festival in South Asia that celebrates the Hindu goddess Durga and her triumph over Mahishashur
2.
Which festival celebrates the bond between brothers and sisters?
Nuakhai
Rakshabandhan
Navarathri
Ram-navami
Raksha Bandhan is a Hindu festival that celebrates the love and duty between brothers and sisters. The festival is also popularly used to celebrate any brother-sister like, loving (nonsexual) and protective relationship between men and women, whether they are relatives or biologically unrelated
3.
In which festival are snakes worshipped?
Kali Puja
Durga Puja
Saraswati Puja
Manasa Puja
Manasa, also Mansa Devi, is a Hindu folk goddess of snakes, worshipped mainly in Bengal and other parts of North and Northeastern India, chiefly for the prevention and cure of snakebites and also for fertility and prosperity.

Manasa is the sister of Vasuki, king of Nâgas (snakes) and wife of sage Jagatkaru (Jaratkaru). She is also known as Vishahara (the destroyer of poison), Jagadgaurî, Nityâ (eternal) and Padmavati
4.
Holi marks the defeat of which demon?
Ravana
Surpanakha
Holika
Kunti
Holika was a demoness and the sister of Harinyakashipu. They created havoc and both of them were killed by the incarnations of Lord Vishnu
5.
The date of which festival always falls on a night with no moon?
Durga Puja
Holi
Kali Puja
Manasa Puja
Kali Puja, also known as Shyama Puja or Mahanisha Puja, is a festival dedicated to the Hindu goddess Kali, celebrated on the new moon day of the Hindu month Kartik, especially in Bengal, Odisha and Assam. It coincides with the pan-Indian Lakshmi Puja day of Diwali. While the Bengalis, Oriyas and Assamese adore goddess Kali on this day the rest of India worships goddess Lakshmi on Diwali. Mahanisha Puja is performed by the Maithili people of Mithila region in India and Nepal
6.
Which festival commemorates the birth of Shri Krishna?
Holi
Purnima
Janmasthmi
Manasa Puja
Krishna Janmashtami, also known as Krishnashtami, Saatam Aatham, Gokulashtami, Ashtami Rohini, Srikrishna Jayanti, Sree Jayanti or sometimes simply as Janmashtami, is an annual celebration of the birth of the Hindu deity Krishna, the eighth avatar of Vishnu.

The festival is celebrated on the eighth day (Ashtami) of the Krishna Paksha (dark fortnight) of the month of Shravana (August–September) in the Hindu calendar
7.
Which is the main festival of the carpenters and artisans?
Dusshera
Kali Puja
Diwali
Vishwakarma Puja
Vishwakarma is the personified Omnipotence and the abstract form of the creator god according to the Rigveda. He is the presiding deity of all craftsmen and architects. He is believed to be the "Principal Architect of the Universe ", and the root concept of the later Brahman/Purusha of the Upanishads
8.
Which demon did the goddess Durga kill?
Ravana
Sukracharya
Kansha
Mahishashur
Mahishashur was a ferocious demon who could not be killed by a single god so Maa Durga was formed, having the powers of all the gods and goddesses. Durga was able to defeat Mahishashur and the event is celebrated by the Vijayadashami festival each October
9.
Holi is a special festival for which class of Hindu?
Vaishnavaites
Shaivaites
Chandravanshi
Suryavanshi
Vaishnavaites, who pray to Lord Vishnu, celebrate Holi as a special event. Although nowadays everybody celebrates Holi, whichever god they are devoted to
10.
Which festival is also known as the festival of lights?
Mahashivaratri
Diwali
Ram Navami
Holi
Diwali or Divali (also known as Deepavali) is the "festival of lights". It is an ancient Hindu festival celebrated in autumn every year. The festival spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, and hope over despair

 

Author:  Siddarth Bhattacharjee

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