Society and Norms: Holidays - Non-Islamic Religious Holidays

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Holi (Festival of Colors) is observed in the spring as a Hindu celebration of good over evil and is symbolized by lighting the holika bonfire. Females also pray for their fertility and the health of their family. Holi is a time to be carefree and joyous, listen to music, dance, and visit with friends. People dress in colorful outfits and paint their faces.  In Pakistan people prepare special delicacies and meet with their friends for festivities. Hindus will gather at temples to celebrate. Much gaiety can be seen at temples in cities such as in Lahore where there is a sizeable Hindu population [38].

Diwali (Festival of Lights) is a five day religious celebration for both Hindus and Sikhs celebrated in late September or October. For Hindus this festival is a celebration of the awareness of an inner spiritual light. This light out shines all darkness in their lives and allows Hindus to discover their true selves. It is also a celebration of the harvest and time to give thanks for prosperity. For Sikhs, Diwali is a symbol of their struggle for freedom. This day commemorates when Guru Hargobind Ji and 52 prince detainees were released from their imprisonment by the Mughal Emperor Jahangir. Diwali is celebrated by hanging rows of colorful lanterns and lighting lamps and candles. People dress in their best clothing, go to festivals with performers and food (sweets are a favorite at this time), light fireworks, and worship at temples [39].

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