India Celebrates Vijayadashmi The DURGA PUJA
Celebrated on the tenth day in the Hindi month of Aswin – that typically falls in between the months of September or October – Vijayadashmi, also known as Durga Puja, is celebrated throughout the country for the whole nine days termed as Dussehra.
The word ‘navaratra’, that is a Sanskrit word, means ‘nine nights’. During this period of nine days and nine nights we worship nine forms of Goddess Durga that is a synonym of Shakti so it is called Durga Puja a Puja in which we invoke Shakti in the form of Mother who is the janani and the rakshak to purge us from our sins.
Although with the advance of technology the Vijayadashmi has acquired the status of a pan-India Puja, originally this puja is specially attributed to Bengal where it is celebrated as the main festival of the State. Gujarat is another State where Navratri has acquired a very special status. In Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu people decorate their houses with artistically arranged dolls and women and specially children exchange sweets and gifts.
In Kerala Dussehra is celebrated as an occasion when thousands of little children are introduced to first letters of the albhabet. This marks the initiation of a child’s reach to the world of letters. What could be a better gift from Mother to Her child! Gujarat has become globally famous destination for its Garba dances during Navaratri. For the whole nine nights, every evening, everyone including ladies with their colourful dress, joins the dancing and create an enchanting atmosphere by their twirls and whirls late into the nights.
The people in North India celebrate the victory of Lord Rama over Ravana as Dussehra. Here on the tenth day, justifying the name ‘Vijayadashmi’, a grand procession march that usually lead to the Ramlila Maidan where the effigy of Ravan, the symbol of all evils, is torched.