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FESTIVAL OF DURGA PUJA

THE FESTIVAL IS CELEBRATED IN OCTOBER AND IS BASED ON
AN ANCIENT RELIGIOUS MYTH.
ONCE THERE WAS A DEMON (REPRESENTING EVIL) WHO WAS
CAUSING TERRIBLE DESTRUCTION AND SICKNESS THROUGHOUT
THE WORLD. A GODDESS WITH TEN ARMS APPEARED RIDING
ON THE BACK OF A LION AND KILLED THE DEMON WITH A SPEAR.
MEANING: GOOD OVERCOMES EVIL.
THE PEOPLE OF BENGAL CELEBRATE THE OCCASION BY BUILDING
AN IDOL OF THIS GODDESS IN EACH NEIGHBORHOOD, ABOUT
12 TO 20 FEET HIGH OUT OF CLAY. THEY WORSHIP THE IDOL
BY CARRYING A PLATE CONTAINING CANDLES TO HER (THE
PLATE IS CALLED "ARATI"). AFTER FIVE DAYS OF FESTIVI-
TIES, THE IDOLS ARE TOTED TO A RIVER AND DUMPED IN TO
SYMBOLIZE THAT THE GODDESS HAS RETURNED TO HEAVEN
AFTER KILLING THE DEMON.

Data entry tech comment: SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER (ASVINA). SPICER-"BOOK OF FESTIVALS,"
P. 161, KATHY LOESER.
CN[ TYNAN, ANDREA

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; INDIA ; CALCUTTA

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- September 23 equinox to December 20 Also used for Advent.

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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