Dussehra on 09th Oct 2011
Hindu Temple Nottingham
Celebrates Dussehra on 09th Oct 2011.
Dussehra falls on the 10th day after Navaratri (Festival of Nine Lights). It marks the victory of Lord Ram over the demon Ravana, who had kidnapped his wife Sita. It is said that Ravana had ten heads and thus the name Dussehra, ‘dus’ meaning ten and ‘hara’ meaning defeated. Since Ram worshiped the goddess Durga, a “Durga Pooja” is held by various communities in different parts of India. Another story is that it was the day of victory of Durga over the demon Mahisasura. Prayers, eatables and money are offered in various temples and new ventures are started on this auspicious day. Visitors in Mumbai can see groups of people burning effigies of Ravana on the streets, and celebrating at the “dandiya raas” dances on all the days of Navratri. This is also a time when young and old gather to listen to readings of stories from the Ramayana, known as “Ramleela”. The exchange of “apta” leaves for good luck is an important custom too.
The pageants and processions of Dussehra celebrations end in an explosive display of pyrotechnics as giant wood-and-paper effigies of the ten-headed demon King Ravana, his son Meghnad and brother Kumbhkaran are set alight.
Over much of northern India, amateur theatre groups don paint and costumes to re-enact the Dussehra story at Ramlilas in every neighborhood, while in Mumbai and Ahmedabad, feasting and fasting, whirling garba and click-clacking dandiya are an integral part of the festivities. A time for rejoicing, a time for fun- and a time to celebrate the victory of good over bad, right over wrong.
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