Creative Thoughts

Creative Thoughts

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Dussehra Festival

Dussehra is a popular festival celebrated by Hindus all over India.
The name Dussehra is derived from the Sanskrit word Dasha-hara  literally meaning remover of ten referring to Lord Rama's defeat of the ten-headed demon king Ravana.   It is believed that it was on this day that Lord Rama killed Ravana and rescued his abducted wife, Sita.  In other words, it signifies the triumph of good over evil.

In India, the harvest season begins at this time and so the Mother Goddess is invoked to start the new harvest season and reactivate the vigour and fertility of the soil. This is done through religious performances and rituals which are thought to invoke cosmic forces that rejuvenate the soil.

The legendary triumph is re-enacted to the day.  In the northern parts of India, huge effigies of Ravana, stuffed with fireworks and fire crackers are placed in vast open grounds. Actors dressed as Rama, his wife Sita and brother Lakshman, enact the final moments of the battle. After the enactment of the climax of the war with Ravana, the character playing Rama shoots an arrow with a flaming tip at the effigy from a safe distance and the crowd bursts into cheer as the crackers catch fire.  Merriment follows, as people indulge in dance and music.
In West Bengal, a state located in eastern India, the Bengalis celebrate Dussehra as a part of their main festival - Durga Puja. This day marks the end of Durga Pooja celebrations, the preceding nine days being collectively referred to as 'Navratri'.

I took some pictures today - all those below except the last one.
.  This deity was installed bang in the middle of a busy street !  That's Mumbai !

in a quiet by lane
Mother Goddess Shakti, who incarnated in the form of Goddess Durga, a combined manifestation of the divine energies of the Holy Trinity - when they summoned her to kill the mighty demon known as Mahishasura and freed the world from his terror.
 Marigold flowers and mango leaves are hung over shops and even homes.  These garlands adorn cars, machines and even tools.

Corner bazaar - It's all orange and green today !

 Marigold garlands on the popular Colaba Causeway, a shopping centre.
Mango leaves and marigold flowers represent festivity in Hindu culture and they are used on every auspicious occasion

Garba - Dandiya - dancing for nine evenings (in Mumbai) preceding the festival.  A  time when young couples have a good time even though many are chaperoned !

Although Dussehra is celebrated in different ways across India, the motive remains the same - to spread good cheer and celebrate the victory of good over the evil

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