Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Know Dussehra celebrations across the country & world

Dussehra is associated with various stories, and is celebrated with great zeal and enthusiasm with traditional fervor in every nook and corner of the country, each with its own set of ceremonies.

Northern India

People in Northern India incorporate Ramlila, a theatrical retelling of lord Ram’s life narrative. Ravana, Meghnada, and his brother Kumbhkarana’s effigies are loaded and set ablaze in an open field at night.

Durga Puja in Bengal and Odisha

On the tenth day of Durga Puja, Bengalis celebrate Bijoya Dashami. Artists construct intricate portrayals of Maa Durga or Maa Kali in all forms, ranging from traditional crafts to modern renderings. Observers carry their goddess idols in processions and immerse them in the river on the final day.

Western India

In Western India, people from Gujarat fast and worship Durga’s nine avatars during all the nine days. During the celebrations women and children perform garba or dandiya dances across Gujarat and Maharashtra.

South India

In South India, the festival is celebrated in honor of the goddess Saraswati, the Hindu goddess of knowledge and wisdom. Worshipers clean the instruments and pray for blessings from the deity.

Not only in India, But India’s neighbouring country, Nepal also celebrates the festival with the greatest enthusiasm as Hinduism is the most widely followed religion in Nepal.

Dashain in Nepal

In Nepal, Dussehra is also known as Dashain and is the longest Hindu festival in the country. It is celebrated over two weeks with prayers and offerings to Durga.

Dashain is a time for family reunions, people use it to have a quality time with family and exchange gifts and blessings. Dashain honours Goddess Durga, who was created from the shakti (energy) of all the gods and armed with their weapons.

Under Dashain, Ghatasthapana, Phool Pati, Mahaastami, Nawami and Vijaya Dashami are the series of the events which are marked with a different set of rituals.

Goddess Durga, who represents courage and prowess, is worshipped for the progress and prosperity by the devotees. During the 10 days pilgrims flock to river confluences early in the morning and at sacred shrines.

Tika and Jamara

During Dashain, on the tenth day known as tika, men and women in their fineries visit their elders to seek tika (it is a dab of red vermilion mixed with rice and yogurt) accompanied by blessings. The sacred yellow grass is called Jamara which is bestowed by the elders atop the heads of those who are younger when tika is put on.
Home visits, grand feasts, kite flying and village swings are some of the highlights of Dashain. People are seen moving around with their foreheads covered with rice tika, wearing new clothes.

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