Happy festivities everyone! Navratri, Durga Pooja, Dusshera, Ayudh Pooja …what a time of the year, for celebrations throughout the country!
Here is a perfect read by 9-year-old Ishaan Satheesh from Chennai, summarizing how people from different parts celebrate. Ishaan is a mischievous boy who loves to explore. He is passionate about cars and always dreaming about them. His love for stories has always been there and it has made him start writing them recently. Ishaan is a student of Sunshine Chennai Senior Secondary School, Chennai
Mahisha was a deceitful demon and he was powerful. He was the son of Rambha and great grandson of Kashyap. All the gods were troubled by Mahisha, they went to Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva for help since they are the powerful gods. Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva combined together and created a destructive female power, known as Durga or -Mahishasuramardini. Durga and Mahisha fought for nine nights (called as Navarathri literally meaning nine nights). On the tenth day of war between Mahisha and Durga, Durga wins.
In North India, they celebrate it as Ram-leela wherein big puppets of ten- headed Ravana will be killed by Rama with bow and arrow lit with fire. In East India, it is observed as Bijoyo Dashomi. They immerse Durga’s idol in the nearby river or ocean. In West India, both the goddess Durga and Lord Rama are admired for their victory over evil. Fasting and prayers at temples are common. They wear a dress called Garba and dance with colored sticks, known as Dandiya. In south India, people keep colorful figurines known as golu. The festival was celebrated at Vijayanagara historically for Goddess Durga (The warrior Goddess).
Many of us celebrate Dussehra.
Golu will be kept in a ladder like structure with broader steps. The steps can be 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 or 11 depending on the number of idols. We have kept Golu in a 5 step-ladder at my place, in Chennai.
I have kept the idols of Durga, Ashtalakshmi, Saraswathi, Dhasavadaram, Rama, Krishna and many more. Panagam(sweet jaggery water) and Pulses (Sundal) will be offered to god. We invite friends and relatives to our home. Guests will be served Panagam(sweet jaggery water) and Pulses (Sundal). Devotional songs or slokas will be recited everyday in front of the golu.
While the guest leaves, they will be given thamboolam. Thamboolam contains betel leaves, betel nuts, turmeric powder, kumkum, mirror, comb, glass bangles, mehendi, flowers for ladies and gifts for kids. It is considered auspicious to give thamboolam to more number of people.
On the night of the tenth day aurati is taken to indicate the victory of gods and goddesses and the idols are put down to indicate rest. On the following day the idols are packed and kept inside. Thus, ends the Dussehra festival for the year.
Wishing you all a happy and auspicious Dussehra! On this special and auspicious day of Dussehra, as we all celebrate valour and courage, the triumph of good over evil. I wish you success and happiness in everything you do.