Hindu homes are usually distinctive on account of the Tulsi gracing the front yard. A brightly coloured clay or cement structure, carved with imagery of deities holds the Tulsi - a plant which is the symbol of purity. The
Hindu housewife begins her day after paying homage to the plant.
The Tulsi plant apart from the religious use, also has great medicinal value, and is used in a variety of herbal medicines.
The most popular Hindu festival in the Konkan region of India is the " Lord Ganesh Festival ". This feast of the Elephant Headed God, who brings prosperity and good luck lasts from 1 1/2 to 21 days and usually is in the month of September.
The terra-cotta idol is worshipped with the "Bhat" the Hindu priest, performing poojas and later immersed in the river or in the well with great pomp and fervour.
This festival, is also the time for family reunions, as every member of family returns home to celebrate. Guests are served special sweets, pastries and traditionally cooked food.
Most festivities are accompanied by a lot of religious fan fare. The Lord Ganesh idol being lavishly decorated is also accompanied by a rich and colourful depiction from the Hindu mythology.
The Incarnations of Lord Vishnu are usually chosen and the array is hugely displayed on a dais flanking the image of Lord Ganesh.
The verandah of a Hindu house acted as a social gathering place. The outer doorway usually sported the footwear - often on a special stand - as everyone walked about barefoot. A special room was designated for the deity. This area was usually sacrosanct and kept free of dirt and absolutely no footwear.
The kitchens usually were wide, open and also served as the dining area where the householders sat on 'Patts', flat, colourful benches, to partake of their meals.
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