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Researched and edited by:

Meghan

Alonso Rocha Tapia

Ryan

Sammy Masiello

How did the religion develop? Did someone found the religion?

The hindu religion began about 40000 years ago. The members of this religion were named, Aryans ("noble people") slowly they began to edge away from Buddhism since they believed that buddha was not enlightened by god. Arago, they formed there own religion witch was polytheistic. many a conflict would come before hinduism as it is today (URL Kids).

The history of Hinduism is still debated because Hinduism became Hinduism in modern times even though the traditions date back the Indus River Valley Civilization, over 4,000 years ago. Also, Hinduism is a collection of a few different traditions from different places in India.

It is not known when Hinduism began or who who began it.

Are there any important days? Which ones? What happens on those days?

There are some festivals such as,
  • Bihu, this is January first and the first day of the new year.
  • Ganesh Chaturthi is the celebration of the birth of Ganesh.
  • Kavadi, is the full moon day were January cross over to February (List of Hindu festivals - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia).


    The most important festival for Hindus is Diwali, the festival of lights. This year, Diwali will begin November 3. The date changes every year because the festival occurs on the new moon in the month of Kartika. The festival last 5 days. During the celebration, people light all of their lamps and light fireworks. Gifts are exchanged. The lamps are said to help the goddess of wealth, Lakshmi, find her way to all the houses. Diwali is marks the beginning of a new business year of wealth and prosperity. It is also the celebration of a successful harvest.

    Holi is the festival that celebrates a new harvest. It will occur on March 8 and last 2 days. On the first day, the whole town gathers together at a public bonfire. The next day, everyone sprays their friends and family with colored dyes and water. This is why it is known as the “Festival of Colors”. Many social separations and restrictions are forgotten, such as separation by class, gender, and age.

    Mahashivratri is a festival dedicated to Shiva. This year it will fall on March 20. It is celebrated during the night. Participants will fast and stay up all night worshipping at a temple. They offer special foods to Shiva.

    There are many festivals and holy days in Hinduism, but these are some of the main festivals.


There are 14 holy days/ festivals.


Diwali: A festival celebrating good over evil, light over darkness, and knowledge over ignorance. It lasts for 5 days, and varies when it comes as it is on the Hindu calendar.


Hanuman Jayanti: The birthday of the Monkey God, Hanuman Ji. Hanuman Chalisa, a sacred text is read on the day, either nonstop for 24 hours or for a set number of times. People fast and then have a vegetarian feast on this day.


Krishna Janmashtami (Krishna Jayanti): The birthday of Krishna, an important god. The festival is two days as it is said that Krishna was born at midnight. There are dances and songs and plays to honor the god, as well as holy mantras.


Navaratri: The festival of nine nights. This holiday honors Durga, the Mother Goddess and the triumph of good over evil.


Rama Navami: The birthday of Rama, an incarnation of Vishnu. A continuous reading of the Ramayana takes place a week before the day. People clean and decorate their homes and place offerings of flowers and fruit in shrines before praying.


Thaipusam: A festival of faith, penance, and endurance. Hindu, regardless of caste give their thanks to the god Murugan. It lasts for 3 or 4 days at the shrine of the Batu Caves.


Varsha Pratipada: The new year. It symbolizes renewal and is a lucky day.


Ganesh Chaturthi: The birthday of Ganesh, The Remover of Obstacles and god of travelling. In some places it is celebrated for 10 days but in others it is only celebrated at home with hymns and offerings. Sweets are shared.


Holi: A spring festival that also celebrates Vishnu and the legend of Holika and Prahalad. Bonfires are lit and a dummy of Holika is often burned.


Mahashivratri: A festival dedicated to Shiva. People stay up all night in a holy place and worship Shiva so that he can protect them from the dangers of night.


Makar Sankranti: Celebration of the sun's journey to the northern hemisphere.


Raksha Bandhan (Rakhi): Festival celebrating brotherhood and love.


Swaminarayan Jayanti: Birthday of lord Swaminarayan, founder of the Swaminarayan tradition.


Vaisakhi: A festival that varies across India.

How many gods does the religion have?

Hinduism has hundreds of gods.

There are 330,000,000 deities in hinduism (How Many Gods).


Hinduism is polytheistic. There is said to be 330 million gods but some gods are worshiped throughout India, whereas some are specific to one village. Some of the main gods have avataras, which are lesser forms of these gods. For example, Krishna is an avatara of Vishnu, but they are considered different.


There are millions of Hindu gods, it is not known exactly how many. Some are specific to certain places, while others are recognized throughout India. Some gods have avatars or different versions of themself although each differs in personality and image and are recognized as different gods.

How do the followers contact or pray to their gods?

Followers will pray to there gods at shrines or at mass. they will offer gifts such as food or lithe trinkets, and of corse wearing traditional clothing while praying (hindu Forum).
In order to contact their gods, Hindus offer food, water, flowers, and incenses to the gods. They repeat the gods names and repeat mantras in front of a icon or image of their god.

An icon of the god or goddess is most important when praying. Fruit, flowers, incense, or water are offered to the god. The name of the deity is repeated and/or mantras are recited.

What are the rules? What do people have to do in their lifetime?

Rules of hinduism are as follows,

  • Fasting is a part of Hinduism, although some still might eat grain milk and/or fruits and vegetal.

  • Hindus do not eat the following items, 1. Beef from a cow (Hinduism believes the cow is sacred)
    2. Meat, fish, and eggs, including gelatine
    3. Onions, garlic and mushrooms
    4. Alcohol and alcohol products
    5. Asafoetida
    6. Red lentils
  • To practice personal hygiene at all times.
  • Not to gamble, drink, or commit crimes.
(Hindu Forum).

The purpose of human existence is perform the proper sacrifices to the gods. But Hindus must also complete our social duty, which is to have children and live a good life. The rules that Hindus must follow depend on their jobs or duties. For example, a householder or mother must raise her family and teach them properly. A monk that lives in solitude must study sacred texts.


In the simplest terms, during their life the Hindu must perform the proper sacrifices to the gods, do their social duty, have children, and live a good life.


Are there any sacred books? What are they called?

There are many scriptures for example the Smritis, witch are divided into,

  1. Itihasa

  2. Purana

  3. Dharma Shashtra

  4. Sutra

  5. Tantra

Another Scripture is the Puranas, There are eighteen and with in there pages the gods are similar to nature (hindu forum).


The main book of scriptures for Hindus is called the Vedas. It includes the Samhitas, the Upanishads, the Brahmanas, and the Aranyakas. These contain legends, history, hymns, traditions, prayers, and philosophical teachings.

The Vedas is the main book of scriptures. It contains the Samhitas, the Upanishads, the Brahmanas, and the Aranyakas.

What do the holy buildings look like?

Hindu religion has holy buildings called temples or mandirs. A mandir has a specific god or goddess that it is dedicated to. The inner shrine of the temple is the holiest place in the temple and it is called the garbhargiha. A statue or picture of the god or goddess that the temple is dedicated to is found here. In each corner there are four shrines that are smaller places of worship. A sikhara is the high roof over the garbhargiha. The porch entering the temple is called the ardhamanpada, you are able to buy gifts for honoring the god who is being worshiped (URI Kids).


Hindus can go to temples to worship, although it is not required because many Hindus have a small room in their home to worship and
pray.
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Here is a few examples of a temple. The design of the temple depends on the region and who the temple is dedicated to. Even then, the shape is almost always different. Common designs include domes and arches. The most common parts of a temple include a steeple, front porch, inner chamber, a main hall, walkway, and a small reservoir of fresh water.


Temples differ in appearance depending on the deity they are dedicated to, the time and region in which they were built. Even so, very few temples are alike except for general features which may include: a steeple, an inner room, a hall, a walkway, and a pool of fresh water.

What happens to you when you die?

Hindus believe in reincarnation or being born again and again. The Hindus ultimate goal is to break the cycle and finish the last life, which is called reaching Nirvana.
When you die your are reincarnated, the main goal is to break the chain and enter nirvana. Some hindus will travel to the ganzi river and spend there final days on the banks of the holy river, when the die they are cremated and there ashes are returned to the ganzi (Hindu forum).
Hindus believe that souls are immortal. When someone dies, they are reincarnated, which means to be born again.
So for Hindus, death is not a horrible end but a new beginning.

Hindus believe that when someone dies they are reincarnated into a new life. So, death is an ending and a beginning.

Are there any religious symbols and writing?

The most known symbol of hindu
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The Sanskrit Letter (Om) is the first sound in the sacred alphabet and is believed to be the first sound in the cosmos that then lead to the creation of the universe. It is used in meditational practices.
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The Swastika is a common symbol used in Hindu culture to decorate temples, weddings, festivals and many other objects because it is thought to be a sign of luck.

The Aum (pronounced om) is one of the most important symbols which is the root and essence of the universe.

Is there any special clothing?

There is a Forehead markings called bindi for women. Some tradition for prayer clothing includes, dhoti, kurta, chaddar or a churidar (hindu forum).



Hindu women usually wear a sari, which is a colorful cloth that is
wound around the legs
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external image BOLGrp8SeAVvGTp5P6BGV4-BZDvTiMlTCi5DcOBCXPk-sPnRoHmS7NDpzYJBQdC9RefdzUMcPakHehrywWGSPmqCzj2qyHXzkBMPfaBQiXTeGQlfwbNw
and then draped over the shoulder. A blouse is then worn on top.
Sometimes, it is worn to leave the midriff bare.
(Image closer to text)




One special garment worn by Hindu men, is the sherwani.
This is a long, embroidered,coat/jacket that reaches slightly past

the knees. It is worn to special occasions. It is usually gold, cream, or ivory-colored.
(Far right image)

Hindu women often wear a sari, a bright cloth wrapped in a certain way and a blouse. They may also wear a bindi, a special mark on the forehead. On special occasions men wear the sherwani, an embroidered jacket which reaches to the knees.

Where is the religion most common?

Hinduism is most common in India. There are 8,17,112,705 people who practice hinduism (Top Ten).


Hinduism is most common in India, where it was founded.

Hinduism is the most common in India.

How many people believe in the religion?

Currently around 1 billion people world wide believe in Hinduism (Top Ten).

Hinduism has around 1 billion adherents. Hinduism has the fourth largest religious population, coming behind Christianity as the largest religion, and then Islam and Atheism.

Are there any dietary restrictions people follow because of their religion?
Most hindus do not eat beef or pork. Hindus are against vegetarianism because food is revered and it is considered a waste of food.

What language are the scriptures written in?
The sacred language that most scriptures are written in is Sanskrit. Sanskrit is believed to be the language of the demi-gods. It is one of the 22 official languages of india.

There are roughly 1 billion Hindus worldwide.


Which is the most powerful Hindu god?

The most powerful god has 3 forms of himself so it is Vishnu, Brahma, and Shiva

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