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"Kali Puja, West Bengal In West Bengal and eastern India, Diwali is celebrated to welcome the arrival of Maa Kali, avatar of Goddess Durga. Bengalis worship Goddess Kali for three days and celebrate the occasion by lighting up entire localities, bursting crackers, meeting kin and spending time with friends. In some parts, animals are also sacrificed to appease the deity. People observe fast and also worship Goddess Lakshmi, the deity of wealth. Puja by Agambagish This is a variant of Kali Puja that takes place in West Bengal. Agambagish, the most revered tantriks or priests of Maa Kali, perform a dangerous and sacred ritual before worshipping the Goddess to appease her. They meditate at mortuaries, sitting in a circle, surrounded by human skulls that they have to collect and smear it with their blood. The rituals of Agambagish can be seen in rural parts of West Bengal, especially in Howrah, Midnapore and Hoogly districts. Diyari, Sindh The community of Sindhis celebrate Diwali with a different name and somewhat different customs. They wash gold and silver coins in milk before worshipping the Goddess. After the Puja, they tap the coin against their teeth and chant the phrase - “Lakshmi aayi, danat vaai”, which means Lakshmi arrived, poverty went away. Deepabali, Odisha One of India’s most culturally diverse states, Odisha, celebrates Diwali in a different way. During the ritual of Kaunriya Kathi, the people of Odisha burn jute sticks to invite their ancestors who are said to descend from heaven on the day of Diwali. They believe that their ancestors live in the wide, open sky as the sun begins to move towards the Tropic of Capricorn. Divali, Trinidad In the late nineteenth century, around 143,000 people from Indian states of Odisha and Bihar were taken to Trinidad to work as slaves in sugarcane plantations. Later, these Indians had gained independence and blended with the local population. However, with them blended the customs and rituals of India too. The Trinidad government declared ‘Divali’ as a national holiday in 1966 to mark the eradication of spiritual darkness. It is only in Trinidad that Diwali is celebrated for nine days. Tihar, Nepal The festival of Diwali is called Tihar in Nepal. The only Hindu kingdom in the world celebrates Diwali much differently than Indians. However, they too worship Goddess Lakshmi during Diwali. The festival continues for five days in Nepal. Each day is dedicated to a specific ritual. The first day observes rice feeding to cows, the second day is dedicated to dogs and so on. "

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2 Enakshi Ganguly = "There are heavy differences between Kaali Pujo and Diwali: The narratives are completely different (Kaali is Darkness, the void versus the Light). The people celebrating it are completely different (lower caste versus upper caste - though this is debateable). The rituals for either celebration are different (non-vegetarian versus vegetarian). The growing imposition of this commercialized, Hindu homogeny is eroding the regional cultures of the sub-continent. "