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What are the important holidays and traditions of your Hindu practices?

Holidays are Pongal, karthikai deepam, navarathiti, deepavali and reginal holdays. We celebrate the below Pongal festival, We call it as harvesting festival and its goes on for 4 days in Tamilnadu, Southern part of India. Its celebrated on the first month of the Tamil Calender, Thai is the starting month of tamil calendar, (Usually Jan 13th or 14th). Its an opportunity to thank sun, water, earth and cows for propertiy, good crop and harvesting. Traditions like, burn the old stuff on home and buy new ones, like mattress, clothes and clean up the house basically on the 1sy day of the festival. On the second day, we cook Pongal (cooked rice, with jaggery, nuts etc.) to thank Sun. Wear new clothes and meet elders and get their blessings. We thank the cows, goats and other animals which helps the farmers in cultivation. Decorate the cows and let them free in the fields on the third day The last day is dedicated to the Sun, since pongal is rural, Sun is the vital part of the proceedings. Karthigai Deepam The Karthigai Deepam festival is celebrated in the Tamil Month of Karthigai (November December) Karthigai is essentially a festival of lamps. The lighted lamp is considered an auspicious symbol. It is believed to ward off evil forces and usher in prosperity and joy. While the lighted lamp is important for all Hindu rituals and festivals, it is indispensable for Karthigai. Vinayaka Chathurthi Vinayaka Chathurthi is a festival that is celebrated in many parts of the country. However the rituals and method of celebrations are totally different in all parts. The festival dedicated to Lord Ganapathi (Lord of the beginnings and Remover of obstecles) is celebrated in the month of september and October Deepavali The Festival of Deepavali symbolises the triumph of good over evil. During the festival people light up their houses with lamps and lights. Chitri Rai Festival The festival is held in the famous Madurai Temples and lasts for 10 days during the Tamil month of chithirai Major attractions is the procession of lord kallazhagar otherwise known as lord Vishnu from Azhagarkoil to give away his sister goddess Meenakshi, in Marriage to Lord Sundareswarar. Navarathiri The festival of Nine nights is an important part of people of Tamil Nadu as well. During these nine days Goddess Durga, Goddess Lakshmi, and Goddess Saraswathi are worshipped for health, wealth and knowledge.

How has this religion shaped your life? Law of cause and effect are literally the actions of a person. What are the challenges (if any) to practicing your religion? There is no challenges at all, there is no hard and fast rules like worship daily, follow moral values stuff like that, In my understanding the religion Hinduism grants absolute and complete freedom of belief and worship. Under the umbrella of Hindu, as you referred to, how does the way you practice your religion different than other Hindus? Since my religion has a complete freedom, I dont need to follow or perform some rituals practiced by other hindus. Like, in Brahmin, One has to read the Vedas, be a vegetarian. Remarriage of widow women etc.

Does your Temple differ from other Hindu Temples? Can you go to any Temple and participate in worship? I can go to any hindu temple, Devotees may or may not be able to personally present their offerings at the feet of the deity. Usually in most South Indian temples, only the pujaris are allowed to enter into the garbhagruh.[3] In North Indian temples, however, it is more common for devotees to be allowed entrance.[3]

How did you decide which branch of Hindu to follow and why do you believe it is more correct than the others, if you do? My religion is based on my birth and ancestral, I can follow any religion. Never believed that my religions is the best among the others.

What are the Hindu views of marriage and family? Is divorce acceptable? In Hinduism, marriages are life long commitment not limited to the present life, its believed that it extends across seven more lives( there are 7 more lives after death) . So divorce is not acceptable. Family, Hindus love their children dearly like any one else, we believe its a gife from the God. Some Vedas says its a recreation of himself and products of their previos life. Duty and responsibility towards himself and the dependents

Since we believe in rebirth, continuity of life, one works for the welfare of the family and finacial security. Male child is preferred, because he upholds the family values and ensures continuity. Parents are concerned about their childrens welfare and expect them not to bring bad name to themselves or the family, sentimentally and emotionally attached . The bond remains intach even after grow up and get married. Living separate after marriage were non existent few decades ago, but now its common because of the work, rising children etc, but its a conventional religious duty to look after their aged parents.

Can you explain the endless cycle of life, and do you believe this? Seven lives after the death astrology- belief ? Many large religions believe on a fallen state of humanity, which leads to a sinful life if not redeemed, what is your view on this? Are all Hindu gods equal, or is there one that is supreme over all the others? If so who is that one god?