Dussehra on the Festival of India in the Kull Valley

Dussehra festival in India: everything you need to know

The dussehra festival in India: everything you need to know

Dussehra festival in India: everything you need to know

Video: Navaratri 2018 2022, September

Dussehra marks the end of Navaratri, a nine-day festival dedicated to the Hindu warrior goddess Durga. Although the celebrations vary from region to region in India, the profound significance of the festival is constant. It is a reminder to end evil and live in harmony.

Lord Rama’s victory over Ravana

Lord Rama engaged in battle against the demon Ravana for nine uninterrupted days. On the tenth day, Rama was able to achieve victory and rescue his kidnapped wife Sita from Ravana’s clutches with the help of an army of monkeys led by Rama’s loyal devotee Hanuman. The end of the demon from Lanka is celebrated as the destruction of evil from the world.

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Shalu Khandelwal / © Cultural Trip

Burning Ravana Images

The burning of massive images of Ravana is an important part of Dussehra celebrations, especially in the northern and western states of India. Ravana is believed to have ten heads, each representing one evil. Burning the image of the demon symbolizes the purification of these sins. Along with Ravana, images of his brothers Meganada and Kumbakaran are also burned.

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Shalu Khandelwal / © Cultural Trip

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Shalu Khandelwal / © Cultural Trip

The Triumph of the Goddess Durga.

In eastern India, Dussehra is called Vijayadashami and is noted as the goddess of the day that Durga defeated the buffalo demon Mahishasura and returned to her heavenly abode. Mahishasura was a cunning life-changing demon that no one could kill and even defeated an army of gods led by Indra, the king of heaven. When Durga finally defeated Mahishasura, the evil forces were banished from the world.

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Shalu Khandelwal / © Cultural Trip

A symbolic new beginning.

Although there are two different legends of two different Hindu gods, the essence of both is the same: the victory of virtue over vice. In Sanskrit, the word “dus” means evil or sin, and “hara” means destruction. Thus, Dussehra represents the restoration of peace after anarchy and the beginning of a new era of righteousness.

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The change of the harvest season

Dussehra also has agricultural significance, as it signals the onset of winter and a change in the season of crops. In the state of Maharashtra, it is widely believed that the greatest ruler of the region, Shivaji, sent his soldiers to help the farmers in order to ensure an adequate supply of food. After Dusherra, these soldiers will return to their military posts.

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Shalu Khandelwal / © Cultural Trip

Lively theater performances.

One of the highlights of Dussehra celebrations in many parts of the country is the dramatization of the story of Lord Rama’s victory over Ravana. Called Ramlila, these stage plays are based on the epic poem Ramacharitmana written by the revered poet Tulsidas. At times these performances can take place over nine days, and in holy cities such as Varanasi, Ramlila has an entire month each month.

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Shalu Khandelwal / © Cultural Trip

Celebrations in Ramlila Maidan in Delhi

In the capital, if there is one place to really enjoy in the spirit of the Dussera festival, it is in the vast grounds of Ramlila Maidan, near the Red Fort. It is said that Indian soldiers in the army of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan executed Ramlila close to the modern site. Even today, the Ramlila Maidan celebrations are a manifestation of communal harmony, as both Hindu and Muslim artists and performers from different parts of India come together to celebrate Dussehra.

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Shalu Khandelwal / © Cultural Trip

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Shalu Khandelwal / © Cultural Trip

Buddhism and Dussehra.

Emperor Ashoka of the Mauryan dynasty, which ruled India in the third century, was one of the most influential proponents of Buddhism in Southeast Asia. He turned to Buddhism after being deeply affected by the ravages of war. Buddhists observe Dussehra as the day Ashoka converted to his religion.

Dussehra in Nepal.

Within the Nepalese community around the world, Dussehra is known as Dasan. During this holiday, families reunite and older members bring their blessings to the younger generations with a tika, which is a rice paste worn on the forehead. New clothes are worn on this day, and the young receive money from their elders for their happiness.

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Navratri and Dussehra Facts for Children

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  • What is Navratri?
  • Why and when is Navratri celebrated?
  • How do people celebrate Navratri throughout India?
  • What is Dussehra?
  • Why and when is Dushera celebrated?
  • How do people celebrate Dushera in India?

Typically, the second half of the year in India is full of festivals and celebrations, and many people celebrate for several weeks. This is a great time for families because in many places they gather from all over the country in unison to celebrate the festive season.

Almost all of the following festivals – Navratri, Dushera and Diwali – celebrate the victory of good over evil, and it’s a great time to tell children about India’s history. If you have a child in the family, now is a good time to tell them about these festivals and share information about Navratri with them so that children can better understand the importance of the festival.

What is Navratri?

Navratri is a festival celebrated by Hindus. It is also known by other names in different parts of the country, including Chandra Darshan, Sindur Tritiya, Chandi Way, Kumari Puja, Sandhi Puja, Mahagauri Puja and Ayudha Puja, among other names. At this time there are certain rituals that are observed in different parts of the country. Each region or state has its own ways of celebrating, and the duration also differs from place to place.

Why and when is Navratri celebrated?

A holiday celebrated by those who follow Hinduism, Navratri is celebrated for different reasons in different parts of the country. It is also known as Durga Puja, through which devotees pay homage to Goddess Durga and her nine avatars. “Nav” means nine and “Ratri” means night; hence the name. There is also the aspect of the nine colors of Navratri, each color assigned to a particular day, representing each incarnation of the Goddess.

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In the north, the celebration is in honor of Lord Ram and his triumph over the Lankan king Raavan, who kidnapped Ram’s wife; in the northeast, they pray to the goddess Durga and her triumph over evil in the form of the demon Mahishasura.

This year Navratri began on October 10 and will end on October 18. In theory, Navratri actually falls two to four times a year, although the most famous is the Sharada Navratri, which is celebrated after the monsoon season. The exact dates of the festival change slightly each year and depend on the Hindu lunar-solar calendar.

How do people celebrate Navratri throughout India?

Here’s how people celebrate the holiday in different parts of the country:

1. In East India.

In East India, Navratri is known as Durga Puja. Here, for several days, states like West Bengal, Odisha, Bihar, etc. D. are crowded with people. They venerate Durga Ma and celebrate her triumphant killing of the evil demon Mahishasura. There are massive pandals, or scenes, which are built all over the state. For eight days the idols are decorated before they are immersed in the sea to mark Her return to Kailasa.

2. In North India.

In the north, Navratri is observed in April in some places where people fast for nine days. It should not be implied that they do not eat at all during these nine days; they simply abstain from wheat and rice. This practice is said to improve the digestive system.

The festival takes place again in October and celebrates Lord Ram and his triumph over the Lankan king Raavan, who kidnapped his wife Sita.

The story of Navratri for children is best explained through Ram Leela. For nine nights, people stay awake and repeat prayers praising Lord Ram and enjoy plays that glorify his story On the tenth day, the massive Raavan image is burned with much pomp and show, with crackers.

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3. In West India.

In West India and parts of Gujarat, this festival is celebrated with a dandiya or garba. It is a traditional dance between women and men, and is called the “sword dance” because it represents a false battle between the goddess Durga and a demon.

4. In South India.

In South India, the festival is known as Ayudha Puja, where people celebrate and respect their instruments. Here, vehicles, books, and musical instruments, smeared with holy ash or sandalwood paste, stand before the deity. In several parts of various states in the South, people also have a unique display of decorated dolls in their homes that lasts all nine days.

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What is Dussehra?

Dussehra is a festival celebrated mostly in the north to commemorate Lord Ram’s triumph over Raavan. It is the last day of the Navratri festival, and ends with many images of the ten-headed Raavan burned to the ground.

Why and when is Dushera celebrated?

Dussehra is usually celebrated around mid-October (almost towards the end of the month) and marks the tenth day of Navratri. It commemorates Lord Ram’s victory over Ravan after he kidnapped his wife Sita. The two armies fought fiercely for several days before Lord Ram victoriously killed Ravan and saved his wife from the claws of evil. This is great information about Dussehra that children can learn and remember.

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In some parts of Himachal Pradesh, the festival ends on the tenth day of the rising moon, i.e. Vijayadashami . The history of this festival goes back to the 17th century when a local king, Jagat Singh, installed an idol of Raghunath in his kingdom of Kulu. This deity was declared the ruling lord of the entire valley.

How do people celebrate Dushera in India?

Here are some facts about Dussehra for children that you could teach them by showing them how this holiday is celebrated in different parts of the country:

1. In East India.

As mentioned earlier, in the east Dussehra is celebrated as Durga Puja. The number of days and certain traditions differ from state to state. Women apply sindoor to the forehead and to the forehead of the Goddess to whom they pray. The festival or puja is held on the days of Sashti, Saptami, Ashtami, and Navami with the puja culminating on the last day of Dushir.

2. In North India.

In addition to the burning of effigies, in the northern states, especially in the Kulu Valley of Himachal Pradesh, there is a world-famous Dusera festival called Kulu Dushera. Here the festivities begin on the tenth day and continue for another seven days. This marks the day when the idol of Lord Raghunath was placed on the throne by the local king, Jagat Singh.

3. In West India.

In Gujarat, Garba is a folk dance that is performed throughout the nine days of the festival. People dance to folk tunes while offering prayers to the deity Durga.

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4. In South India.

In Mysore, the festival sees much attention in the wonderfully lit Mysore Palace. The city also burns effigies of Kumbharan, Ravan and Meghnath. Here too, idols of the goddess Durga are carried on top of elephants from the palace to the Mantapa, or pavilion, when devotees pay their respects during the journey.

Thus Navratri and Dussehra are celebrated wholeheartedly throughout the country. While they take different forms, the ultimate celebration is a celebration of good over evil and a celebration of balance in the world.

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