25th August 2000 at 01:00

September 1 Ganesha-Chaturthi (Hindu) This festival celebrates the birth of Ganesha, the great god regarded by Hindus as the son of the god Shiva. The story says that Shiva's wife Parvita asked Ganesha to guard her room, allowing no one to enter. When Shiva was not allowed in, a fight broke out, during which Ganesha was beheaded. Parvita said that Shiva had to replace Ganesha's head with that of the first creature they encountered, and so Ganesha received an elephant's head. Ganesha is considered the remover of obstacles and is prayed to before important events, such as moving house or taking exams.

September 23 Shubun No Hi (Higan) (Buddhist) This Japanese Buddhis festival celebrates the autumn equinox. People visit and decorate family graves.

September 28-Oct 7 NavaratriDurga PujaDusserah (Hindu) Navaratri, the Festival of Nine Nights,celebrates the victory of Durga over the demon Mahishasura. To ensure victory she was given weapons from the gods Shiva, Vishnu and Yama. Gujurati communities celebrate the event with festivities on each of the nine nights.

September 30-Oct 1 Rosh Hashana (Jewish New Year) The New Year celebrates rebirth and renewal. Because the event celebrates God as creator and judge, people examine their responsibilities for themselves and for each other. Rosh Hashana literally means head of the year.

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