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Neela Kale Answers:
Certain holidays have greater importance in a given region or culture than in others because of the widely divergent traditions that are collectively called Hinduism. But some Hindu festivals are observed widely throughout India. Among these are Holi, the spring festival which commemorates the slaying of the demon Holika by Prahlad, a devotee of Lord Vishnu. Bonfires are lit to commemorate Prahlad’s escape from the demon; revelers throw colored water and powder at each other in celebration. The Durga Puja, falling in September-October, is a time dedicated to worship of the mother goddess Durga. Devotees prepare large images of the mother goddess and processions and worship services take place over a period of several days. Divali, the festival of lights, celebrates the victory of good over evil and commemorates the joyous return of Lord Rama from his exile and other key events in Hindu mythology. On Divali, a harvest-time festival falling between mid-October and mid-November, lamps are lit and sweets and gifts are exchanged.