You know the festival had begun when your mom started cleaning your entire house, bringing new clothes and the best part? The smell of ghee and sweets which filled the streets of your locality (hmmm food).
India, a country brimming with versatility celebrates Dussehra too differently across the south to the north, east to the west. Dussehra is the culmination of Navaratis and it is popularly known as Vijayadashmi. Ram-Leela forms the highlight in the north India while it is the triumph of Goddess Durga over Mahishasura as you move to the southern part of the country. Eastern state of West Bengal has its own story connected to the festival, while in Mysore the concept of Shami tree is centered.
Ram-Leela forms the backbone of the Dussehra celebrations where the life of Lord Rama is depicted in form of drama and music. The highlight of the play is the destruction of Ravana the Lord of Lanka and the return of Rama, Lakshmana and Sita back to Ayodhya after 14 years of exile. Over sized effigies of Ravana, Meghnath, and Kumbhkaran are burnt at the mela organized by different committees. In the Kullu valley the last day has the highest prominence as it is celebrates the festival starts on the day of Vijaya Dashami. Lord Raghunath is the ruling deity and he is worshipped during the festival.
Popularly known as Durga Puja, Kolkata can be seen in all her glory during this time of the year. Durga Puja brings in a lot of hustle bustle and vibrancy to the palace. You will find women dressed up in new, traditional clothes; all decked up visiting different Durga pandals which you find in almost all the street corners of the state. As you walk down the streets of Kolkata, the colorful lights, religious music like is what you will be treated to. The four day celebration ins Kolkata is a much awaited one and on the last day married women wear the traditional red and white sarees and smear Sindoor on each other.
As one travels down to south, in Tamil Nadu the nine days of Navaratis is equally divided for worshipping the three Goddesses namely Laksmi, Saraswati and Durga. The houses in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu are decorated with dolls and small statues known as Bommai Kolu on the artificial steps and decorated with Led lamps and flowers. In Mysore the palace city the caparisoned elephants lead the colorful processions through the vibrantly decorated streets. For the entire month the palace is illuminated with lights which are a sight to watch.
We believe that your knowledge of the festival is now complete and you’ll be way more helpful to your younger siblings for their holiday assignments!
Keep following and Happy Festive Season!