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Religious Festivals Essay

1239 words - 5 pages

\"Religious festivals in Christianity and Hinduism\"

The concept of religion has many different
definitions, particularly amongst different societies and cultures. Many of the assumptions we hold about the characteristics of religion are given to us by the society we live in or by our community. Which for some people may be a religious community. When dealing with the signs of religion, there would be general agreement that Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism are religions, if for no other reason than because this is how they are described.

Christianity is a community which holds certain beliefs in a commune, a faith community. It is a set of ...view middle of the document...

The development of Hinduism was influences by many invasions over thousands of years. The major influences occured when light-skinned, nomadic \"Aryan\" Indo-European tribes invaded Northern India (circa 1500 BCE) from the steppes of Russia and Central Asia. They brought with them their religion of \"Vedism\". These beliefs mingled with the more advanced indigenous Indian native beliefs, often called the \"Indus Valley Culture\".

An important thing that these groups all have in common is that they come together to express their beliefs and practices. They also celebrate festive days.

Hindu festivals often combine the marking of the deity or dieties. The emphasis given to specific festivals and to aspects of the same festival will vary from region to region. Individuals attend festivals for many reasons: to honour the deity, as an opportunity to seek guidance and practical help from the deity, to share in what is after all a performance, and to be a part of a family and community gathering. \"Durga Puja\", which is a festival celebrated under various different names, like \"Navratri\", and \"Dasshera\", and with different meanings across India. In contemporary India, popular festivals are usually marked by state holidays. The great festival of \"Durga Puja\", in Bengal, which falls at the end of monsoon season, is just one example of an occasion for a huge public celebration. Some families in the city take advantage of the festival holiday to visit family in the countryside, for many others, it would unthinkable to leave Calcutta and miss the public celebration of \"Durga puja\". The growth of cities like Calcutta has provided new arenas for public worship, and has stimulated the traditional crafts involved in supplying the images and other materials necessary for the celebration of the festival.

The festival of \"Durga Puja\", plays an important role in the Indian community, for long, it has ceased to remain a religious manifestation. It has emerged as a social occasion, where people come out and mingle freely in the crowd, spending the days in a very easy, laid-back manner. The four days of \"Durga Puja\", give the people a respite from the daily grind, which means a space for renewing contacts with old acquaintances.

The most important festival for Christians is that of Easter. In Christian countries it is celebrated as the religious holiday commemorating the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the son of God. However, the celebrations of Easter has many customs and legends that are pagan in origin and have nothing to do with Christianity....

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