This printable supports Common Core ELA Standards ELA-Literacy.RI.9-10.1, ELA-Literacy.RI.9-10.2, ELA-Literacy.RI.9-10.3, ELA-Literacy.RI.9-10.4, and ELA-Literacy.RI.9-10.6

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Informational Texts - Tourism (Grade 9)

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Informational Texts - Tourism

Nepalese Festival of Lights

Tihar is a five-day Nepalese festival celebrated in late autumn. Hindus around the world celebrate this festival as "festival of lights" or deepawali. Tihar is important for many reasons, including the respect shown during the festive season to the animals like the crow, cow, and dog.

Rituals and Customs
During the entire five days of Tihar, people decorate their houses with oil lamps. Thus, the festival is also known as a festival of lights. Playing cards and cleaning the house are also common during Tihar. Nepalese prepare lots of sweets for their families and also for the animals and gods worshipped in Tihar.

Worship of Crows
On the first day of the festival, crows (Kag) are offered sweets and delicacies. The offerings are meant to make crows happy so they don't caw in people's homes. Crows symbolize sadness and grief in Hindu mythologies.

Worship of Dogs
Dogs (Kukur) are worshipped once a year to celebrate their long relationship with mankind. The second day of the festival is marked by people offering garlands, sweets, and sacred color powders to dogs.

Worship of Cows and Goddess Laxmi
Cows (Gai) are revered as sacred and so is Laxmi, the goddess of wealth. On the third day of the festival, people show their respects to cows and to goddess Laxmi. In the evening, children visit people's homes to sing carols and give blessings.

Worship of Self and Cow-dung
The fourth day of the festival is especially important for the ethnic group Newars as it is the day of the worship of the self (maha). Nepalese also show respects to cow-dung (govardhan), which is used to polish mud houses.

Celebration with Brothers
On the last day of Tihar (Bhai tika), brothers and sisters celebrate their relationship. The day symbolizes the promise brothers and sisters make to protect and take care of each other.
If the reader wanted to find more information on the foods eaten in Tihar where would he or she look?
  1. Celebration with Brothers
  2. Worship of Cows and Goddess Laxmi
  3. Rituals and Customs
  4. Introduction
A festival is supposed to be a positive experience, but the Festival of Lights features crows which are symbols of sadness and grief. How do the two connect?

What would be a better way to present this information?
  1. An encyclopedia entry
  2. An article in a newspaper
  3. A brochure about the festival
  4. A slideshow about Hindu culture
How does the final day of the festival differ from the other days?

Another description of the Festival of Lights, also known as Diwali, says...
"Diwali also called the "festival of lights", is an ancient Hindu festival celebrated in autumn every year. The festival spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, and hope over despair. The festival preparations and rituals typically extend over a five day period, but the main festival night of Diwali coincides with the darkest, new moon night of the Hindu Lunisolar month Kartik. In the Gregorian calendar, Diwali night falls between mid-October and mid-November.

Diwali is an important festival for Hindus. The name of festive days as well as the rituals of Diwali vary significantly among Hindus, based on the region of India. In many parts of India, the festivities start with Dhanteras, followed by Naraka Chaturdasi on second day, Diwali on the third day, Diwali Padva dedicated to wife-husband relationship on the fourth day, and festivities end with Bhau-beej dedicated to sister-brother bond on the fifth day. Dhanteras usually falls eighteen days after Dussehra."

Which statement from this passage best explains why the days in the Nepalese Festival of Lights are different than more traditional Diwali celebrations?
  1. Diwali is an important festival for Hindus.
  2. Diwali also called the "festival of lights", is an ancient Hindu festival celebrated in autumn every year.
  3. The name of festive days as well as the rituals of Diwali vary significantly among Hindus, based on the region of India.
  4. The festival spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, and hope over despair.
Magnificent rock-cut temples...
Created between AD 450 and 750...
On a historic island off Mumbai harbour...
Dedicated to Lord Shiva...
A perfect place for a divine Celebration...
A spiritually uplifting once-in-a-lifetime experience...

Theme: The Puranas tell us that Lord Brahma's attempt to create the human race was futile since he had only created the male species. Realizing this, Brahma sought the help of Lord Shiva who obliged by assuming the form of Ardhanarishvara. 'Ardha', 'nari' and 'ishvara', meaning, 'half', 'woman' and ‘God’ respectively, is depicted in the transformation of one side of Lord Shiva's body into that of a woman. This prepared the way for procreation and the emergence of the human race. The sculptures at Elephanta bring out this dichotomy, where the contrasting gender components of the god are clearly expressed. Perhaps the message is that gender differences are therefore complementary and contained within a single entity.

Objective: To commemorate the living heritage of Indian dance, sculpture and art, Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) in association with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has organized the Elephanta Festival. The Elephanta Festival is a tribute to classical performers and an initiative to popularize Indian classical dance and heritage art forms. A renowned world heritage site, Elephanta forms a stunning backdrop for India's leading artists as they enthrall you with their music and dance recitals. TCS in partnership with MTDC is delighted to be associated with the Elephanta festival.

Background: The festival will feature eminent artistes, showcasing a traditional welcome with the catchy tunes of 'Koli' fisher folks, the aesthetically erected stage, bright lights, delicious ethnic food and the marvelously illuminated Maheshmurti cave. This festival by MTDC will, once again, bring back the golden moments of our glorious past through this extraordinary extravaganza of enchanting ragas and dance performances.

Highlights: The festival will host a number of ethnic food stalls which will highlight the traditional foods of the locality. There will be a 'Shehnai' program at the Gateway of India and Gemini boats will be arranged with the help of the Navy to ferry the visitors.
The short phrases at the beginning of the passage, such as "On a historic island off Mumbai harbour..." are included there to...
  1. Summarize the festival's highlights
  2. Offer a history of the festival
  3. Explain where the festival is located
  4. Provide key details about the festival
Which section highlights the religious significance of the festival?
  1. Theme
  2. Objective
  3. Background
  4. Highlights
While the Elephanta Festival has religious significance, what is its main purpose?
  1. To bring tourists to the island
  2. To promote India's trendiest artists
  3. To showcase India's classical dance and art
  4. To give visitors a chance to sample ethnic food
How do the sculptures and other artwork at the festival help promote the theme?

This passage was written by the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation. How does the language show you it was written to encourage tourism?

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