Customs and traditions have always been an important part of every religion and culture. Human civilization is incomplete without them. As Hinduism is the oldest religion on the earth, there are a lot of Hindu customs and traditions observed in India. Some customs are so important for the people that sometimes, they sacrifice their lives for them. Mainly, people living in villages in India are very conscious regarding these. It does not mean that people living in the cities do not observe them but they are not as staunch as the people in villages are. There are literally thousands of customs and traditions in Hinduism. They vary from region to region and caste to caste. Many of them are common in all parts of India. We would try to list down each and every Hindu custom and tradition here.
When Hindus meet each other, they greet each other by saying ‘Namaste’ or ‘Namaskar.’ They put together the palms of both hands while saying so. Some religious words like Ram Ram, Jai Mata Di, Jai Ram Ji Ki, Om Namah Shivay are also used sometimes.
2. Before the start of any good work and social and religious ceremonies, Hindus worship Lord Ganesha and chant mantra:
वक्रतुंड महाकाय सुर्यकोटि समप्रभ:
निर्विघ्नं कुरु में देव सर्वकार्येषु सर्वदा:
Vakratund Mahakay Suryakoti Samaprabhah Nirvighnam Kurumedevah Sarvakaryeshu Sarvadah
3. Hindus do not wear footwear inside homes, temples, and other holy places. They do not enter the temples after consuming alcohol and/or nonvegetarian food.
4. They apply a spot or standing line of kumkum between the eyebrows on the forehead at the time of worship.
5. They do not eat nonvegetarian food on Mondays, Thursdays, Saturdays, Chaturthis, Ekadashis, and many other festival days.
6. Most of the marriages are of an arranged type with the consent of bride and groom. Marrying outside the caste is considered a bad practice.
7. Arranged marriages generally take place within the respective castes only.
8. Marriage is a big ceremony for them and they do not hesitate to take a loan for that. It is like a prestige issue.
9. They do not kill snakes on Mondays and on the festival day of Nagpanchami.
10. Hindus pierce the ears of babies and put golden earrings in them.
12. Hindu girls and women pierce their nose also.
13. A married Hindu woman wears a Mangalsutra around her neck, bangles in her hand, and toe rings, which indicate that she is married. She also applies a Kumkum spot or sticks a bindi between her two eyebrows.
14. Showing respect to elders is an integral part of Hindu culture. A son must take care of his parents in their old age. Younger people touch the feet of their elders to show respect and take blessings from them. Mother, Father, and Teacher are considered as next to god and are highly respected.
15. Hindus worship many deities. It is believed that there are 33 crore deities in Hinduism.
16. Many festivals are celebrated throughout the year. There are different festivals for different deities. Ganesha, Shiva, Vishnu, Laxmi, Parvati, Hanuman, Shri Ram, Shri Krishna, and Kartikeya are the most popular deities.
17. Hindus believe that Lord Vishnu incarnates on the earth from time to time to restore Dharma.
18. Lord Brahma is not worshiped separately as he is cursed. There is only one temple of Brahma in India which is in Pushkar, Rajasthan.
19. Laxmi Pujan in Diwali is considered as the biggest festival of Hindus. On that day, they worship Goddess Laxmi, the goddess of money.
20. Generally, Hindu women and girls wear clothes, which would cover all the body except face such as Sari, Lehengas, Salwar Kameez, Ghagra choli, etc.
21. A married Hindu woman considers her husband as God and the husband considers her as his Ardhangini (Half Body).
22. Before going for a long travel, they put lemons under the wheels of vehicles. They believe that it would save them from perils. They also break the coconut and light incense stick in front of the vehicle for the same purpose.
23. Many people tie seven chillis and a lemon woven in a thread or wire to the vehicle as they believe it saves them from negative energies.
24. They tie a black doll over the front door of the house to stop bad powers from entering the house.
25. A ceremony called Vastushanti is performed before going to live in a new house. The yajna performed during the ceremony is supposed to wipe out ghosts and other types of negative energies from the house.
26. You would find an altar in every house which contains miniature idols of many Hindu deities. They clean and worship them every day.
27. The idols or pictures of Hindu deities are kept in such a way that they do not face South. The practice is observed in temples as well as homes also. It is believed that hell is located at South and paradise at North.