Dussehra Festival in India

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Dussehra Festival in India

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Dasara Festivals of India

Whenever we think of India we think as a land of festivals. Every festival in India epitomizes the social, cultural and religious aspirations of the people. Every festival brings with it few days of happiness and joy in the life of the people. Navratri, or ‘The Festival of Nine Nights‘, is celebrated during the first nine days of the Hindu month of Ashvin ( September – October ).

The festival is dedicated to the worship of Mother Goddess or Shakti and her nine forms. This season is considered to be an auspicious one as it is generally associated with the sowing of seeds. People sow seeds on the first day, consecrate the planets, watch the sprouting and worship Goddess Durga during this festival.

The last three days are especially considered most important. The nine – day is equally divided in worshiping three goddesses. The first three days are dedicated to Goddess Durga. The next three days are spent in worshipping goddess Lakshmi and the last three days are dedicated to Goddess Saraswati. The day after Navratri the festival of Dussehra is celebrated.General Studies Question Bank CD

The festival of Navratri acquires quite a fascinating and colorful dimension in the region of Gujarat, and in some parts of Rajasthan and Maharashtra. The highlights of the festival are the extremely colorful dances of Garbha and Dandiya – Rasa where men and women of all sects perform.

The Rasa has its origin in the life scenes of Lord Krishna and is associated with the agricultural rites while Garba is performed only by men and is related with the fertility cult or the mother aspect of Navratri. In the south, Dusshera is very popular while in the east, the seventh to the tenth days of Durga Puja are celebrated with much vigor and enthusiasm.

Besides the Garba Dance of Gujarat, the most popular events on the auspicious occasions of Navratri are Ramlila of Varanasi, Dussehra of Mysore and Durga Puja of Bengal. All these celebrations have a special significance according to their region. The rituals are based according to the culture and traditions of that particular region.

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Celebration of Dussehra in India

Dussehra is regarded one of the most significant and important Hindu festivals, celebrated across the nation with much fervor and gaiety. The festival marks the victory of Lord Ram over demon king Ravana, which means the victory of good over evil, light over darkness.

Beautifully decorated tableaux and processions depicting various episodes from Ram’s life are taken out on the streets. The tenth day or the Vijayadasami, is considered to a very important day. Effigies of Ravana, his brother Kumbhkarna and son Meghnad are burnt in open spaces. Actors dressed as Ram, his wife Sita and brother Lakshman arrive and shoot arrows of fire at these effigies, which are stuffed with firecrackers.

As a part of the celebration Ram Lila ( drama depicting the episodes from the lives of Ram, Sita and Lakshman ) are staged in different regions of the country. It is celebrated in different manner across the country. Besides Bengal and Central India, Dussehra Parva is celebrated in other Indian states with equal zeal and enthusiasm though with regional differences.

The nine days celebration of Dussehra in Tamil Nadu have been equally divided for worshipping the three Goddesses namely Lakshmi ( the first three days are dedicated to the Goddess of wealth and prosperity ), Saraswati ( the next three days are dedicated to the Goddess of learning and arts ) and Durga ( the last three days are dedicated to Mother Goddess, Shakti ).

Dussehra is celebrated in Punjab after nine days of fasting during Navratri while Garba dance and music reigns the evenings and nights of Gujarat during the ten days of the festival. In Himachal Pradesh, the festival is marked by the grand processions of the village deities of the hill people. While in Mysore the festival is celebrated by the famous gala procession of richly bedecked elephants on the brightly lit streets of the city on. In West Bengal Duga puja marks the celebration of Dussehra. It is the most important festival of the Begalis. It is celebrated for a period of five days across the state.

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Legends of Dussehra Festival

There are various legends associated with the festival of Dussehra. As we have seen in all of the festivals the roots of origin of the festivals can be traced in the Hindu mythology.

According to legends Lord Rama, killed the great demon and king of Lanka, Ravana, who had abducted Ram’s wife Sita. Ram, along, with his brother Lakshman, follower Hanuman, and an army of monkeys fought a great battle for ten days to rescue his wife Sita. This victory of Rama is regarded as the victory of good over evil and light over darkness. That’s why to commemorate that victory of Lord Ram it is celebrated.

According to another story, Kautsa, the young son of Devdatt, a Brahmin, was living in the city of Paithan. After studying under the guidance of Rishi Varatantu, he insisted on his guru accepting a present, or gurudakshina. Initially the guru refused but later asked for 140 million gold coins, one hundred million for each of the subjects taught.

The obedient student went to the King Raghu to ask for the money, as the king was renowned for his generosity. Within three days the king made the God of Wealth Kuber make a rain of gold coins near the shanu and apati trees.

After giving the promised amount to the guru, Kautsa distributed the rest of the coins among the needy on the day of Dussehra. Even today, in Ayodhya, the capital of King Raghu, people loot the leaves of the apati trees and present to each other.

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Durga Puja Dussehra Navaratri

Durga puja is regarded as the most important festival of West Bengal. The city of Kolkata dresses up in a new look for the five days of the festival. The celebration lasts for five days starting from Maha Shashti ( the sixth day ) and ends with Bijoya dashami ( the tenth day ). The first day of the celebration starts with Bodhon on Maha – Shashti, which is like welcoming Goddess Durga and ends with immersing the idols in the nearby rivers, lakes and seas on the evening of Dashami.

However, it is considered to immerse the idols in the sacred waters of the River Ganges. According to mythology Goddess Durga descends to the Earth on Shashthi and returns to her abode on Dashmi. The clear blue sky, the cool pleasant air, the beautiful fragrance of Shiuli ( a type of flower of this season ), the lush green fields and chanting of mantras and shlokas of Goddess Shakti, all sum up together to create the perfect ambience for the celebration of Durga Puja, the greatest festival of the Bengalis.

The preparations for the festival are done way in advance as beautiful pandals are build in different areas of the city these are mainly community pujas, which are mainly financed by the local people or sponsorship from big corporate houses. Even the idol making also starts way in advance. Clay idols of Bengal are famous worldwide for the traditional way in which they are made.General Studies Question Bank CD

The people of Bengal start preparing for the festival from Mahalaya ( the starting of the festive season ) they decorate homes, buy gifts for fiends and relatives and new clothes for themselves and relatives for the festival. The shopping plaza and markets are totally packed up from one month before the festival.

Durga puja festival is regarded as one of the biggest social event of India. Today it is celebrated not only as a religious festival but it has a cultural and social significance as everybody takes part in its celebration. People from all religious background participate in it. It is celebrated as a secular festival.

Cultural programs are organized in different parts of the city. During this festive time Kolkata attracts tourists not only from India but also from different regions of the world. There is feast and music everywhere in the city. Durga puja is that time of the year when everybody enjoys irrespective of their social status. During this time all the colleges, schools, offices and even government organizations are closed for the ceremony. Everybody is in a festive mood.

This year Duga puja will be celebrated on the following dates :

Durga Puja 2012 Calendar :

  • 20th October 2012 ( Saturday ) : Shashti
  • 21st October 2012 ( Sunday ) : Saptami
  • 22nd October 2012 ( Monday ) : Ashtami
  • 23rd October 2012 ( Tuesday ) : Navami
  • 24th October 2012 ( Wednesday ) : Vijaya Dashmi

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Significance of Navaratri Dussehra

Every Indian festival has a reason and significance behind its celebration. It is not only celebrated for fun and enjoyment. But there is a proper meaning behind its celebration. Similarly with the festival of Navaratri there is a significance and meaning attached to it.

The festival celebrates the worship of Three Goddess, Durga ( the god of power and strength), Lakshmi ( the goddess of wealth ) and Saraswati ( the Goddess of knowledge and learning ). The festival leads to spiritual growth of a person. It gives the person inner strength to fight against all odds of life.

The courage to fight for the weaker section of the society and against all evils of the society. So the first three days is dedicated to the worship of Goddess Shakti. The next most important requirement in life is wealth and prosperity and for that the next three days of the festival is dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi ( the Goddess of wealth and prosperity ). Knowledge and learning is another important aspect of life. And for that the last three days of the festival is dedicated to Goddess Saraswati. She is worshipped so that she blesses us with power of knowledge and helps us to attain spiritual enlightenment.

The nine nights festival of Navratri begins on the first day of Ashwin of the bright fortnight. The festival comes to an end on the tenth day of Vjay Dashmi or Dussehra, when the idols of the Goddess Shakti are immersed in the river. Dussehra, is considered as an important festival.

Though the festival celebrates the worship Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati but all three Goddess are the incarnations of Goddess Shakti ( the Mother Goddess ). The festival signifies power, wealth, prosperity and knowledge.

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Dussehra Durga Puja Special Recipes

Any festival in India is incomplete without food. Whenever we talk of festival we think of the special dishes prepared for the occasion. Festival cooking is a part of all celebration. Durga Puja is also one of the festivals where special emphases on sweets are given. Other than sweets different kinds of other dishes are also prepared.

This festival is mainly celebrated in the West Bengal, which is famous for sweets. Durga Puja is the festival of fun and feasting. It is the time when people have the liberty to eat what ever they like.

Different kinds of sweets are available in the market. You can choose from a wide variety of range. Other than sweets you can make various other items at home, which are easy to cook and very delicious to eat. Begalis are known for their delicious delicacies. Here are list of some traditional delicacies, which will make your celebration all the more exciting and happening.

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