Holiday Celebrations Around the World
Rituals from around the globe that you can use to add authentic spice—and meaning—to your season.
Diwali, the Festival of Lights, Hindu New Year, 13th Day of the Month of Asvina (October or November)
During this five-day celebration, Hindus fill their houses and gardens nightly with clay oil lamps or candles. The lights celebrate the once banished mythic hero Rama and his wife, Sita, and welcome Lakshmi, goddess of prosperity, into their homes. Families draw rangoli, decorative patterns made in rice flour, at the entrance to their houses or in front of their household shrines.
The essence: To light candles is to give thanks for the blessings of the past year and shines the way for good fortune in the next.
Fortune-Telling Ritual, New Year's Eve
In this tradition, tin is melted, then poured into a bucket of snow or ice-cold water. When the metal hardens, it is held up to a light; the shape it casts on the wall is used to tell your fortune. (Does it look like a hill? That may mean obstacles ahead. Does it look like a coin? That may mean money.)
The essence: The fortunes open a window into the New Year.
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