Faith and religion plays an important role in the lives of people around the world, and often the faith of one person or nation has an effect on other individuals or countries. The importance of religion is apparent in the daily routines of people all around the world (Breuilly pg 29). Hinduism is one of the oldest religions in the world the culture of it is very interesting. Many historians believe that the early Hindu practices can be dated as far back as the 10th century BCE. Hinduism is a vast religion and there are many parts to it just like in any other religion and culture. Without customs and traditions life would be so bland to live out. This religion first arose in the Indus Valley civilization and over the years it has developed and taken many different forms. Even though it has been shaped into many things, there are many core aspects in which majority- if not all Hindus follow/believe in. Out of the prolific amounts of people who are Hindus they all celebrate the same holidays, worship the same Gods and execute similar life rituals.
In Hinduism there are many holidays but major holidays vary from region to region. Since the Hindu belief is so diverse it’s impossible to calculate the massive amount of ceremonies celebrated in these modern times. Many of the holidays commemorate historical or legendary events, or to celebrate the cycle of nature. Others are dedicated to specific Gods and deities while others are related to seasons and the harvests. The most common and important holiday’s ones are Holi and Diwali (Breuilly pg 37). Holi is celebrated in March to celebrate the spring and all the vivid colors. Hindus attend bonfires and throw colored powders at each other in attempt to throw off the gloom of winter and does tend to get a little wild. Diwali is celebrated in March and is the festival of lights. For five days, homes are illuminated in the glow of dazzling lights from oil lamps and candles to spectacular fireworks. Diwali literally means "row of oil lamps". It is also the New Year’s Eve and is held on the final day of the Vikram calendar. Unlike traditional religious holidays, secular Hindu holidays occur on the same day annually. They follow the National Calender of India which was created not very long ago in 1958. (Hinduism, Web)
Many Hindus recognize an extensive diversity of gods and goddesses; others believe in a Hindu "trinity" which is called trimurti: Brahman, Vishnu, Shiva; yet others claim an essential monotheism, believing that all the gods are manifestations of one. There are four main sects within Hinduism: Shaivism (in which Shiva is worshipped as the main god); Vaishnavism (in which Vishnu worshipped as the main god); Shaktism (in which the female aspects of god are primarily worshipped); and Smartism (in which six main gods are worshipped: Shiva, Vishnu, Shakti, Ganesh, Murugan and Surya). Each one of the Gods stand for a different purpose. There are just far too many Gods but these are few of the important ones. The Devi is the “Mother God” and she is the supreme divinity. Shiva is one of the chief deities and his name means the “Auspicious One”. He is both the destroyer and the restorer. There is the elephant-faced deity names Ganesh who was created by Goddess Parvati as a guardian to her privacy. Then there is Vishnu who is the protector and restorer of Dharma. Many people consider him to be the Supreme Lord.
Hinduism is big on rituals, called samskaras, from how they get married to what they do when a baby is born to their daily way of life. This is called the Rites of Passage (Howard, Lesson 2). Even before a baby is born parents go and ask a Hindu priest for the best time to consummate so that the baby gets good karma. About a few years after the child is born, their hair is shaved off and this represents the removal of bad karma from the previous lives they’ve had. When the time is right for the child to get married, the parents and relatives go out…