Religion

Temple-hopping

Valerie Hohman
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If you visit a temple during a puja, be sure to take a helping of prasad, often a sweet dish or fruit that has been blessed by the local priest. I’ve had the pleasure of sampling all kinds of prasad – coconuts, sweet rice, bananas, halva -- the list goes on and on. Fire and water are also key elements in the puja. When the priest brings a flame to you, swipe your right hand over it and then touch your hand to the top of your head. For the water, take it with both hands (right on top), sip gingerly, and wipe the rest over your head (like you’re smoothing your hair). You may see people walking clockwise around the idol at the center of the temple – feel free to join them and make sure to go around at least three times.

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