Durga Puja is one of the most important festivals in India. Durga Puja is more than a festival. It is a celebration of life, culture, popular customs and traditions. It is a time of reunion and rejuvenation to love, to share and to care.
Durga Puja is an important Hindu Festival celebrated all over India with different rituals and festivities especially in eastern India. It is celebrated in the month of September/October every year.Durga Puja is one of the most important festivals in India. Durga Puja is more than a festival. It is a celebration of life, culture, popular customs and traditions. It is a time of reunion and rejuvenation to love, to share and to care.
Durga Puja is an important Hindu Festival celebrated all over India with different rituals and festivities especially in eastern India. It is celebrated in the month of
September/October every year.
In the months of Ashwin and kartik, Hindus observe a 10 day ceremony of fast, rituals, celebrations, fiests to honor the mother Goddess and triumph of Lord Rama over Demon Ravana. Dussehra also symbolizes the triumph of warrior Goddess Durga over the buffalo demon, Mahishasura. Thus, it is a celebration of victory of good over evil
This celebration starts from Navratri and ends with the tenth day festival of “Dussehra”. Navratri and Dussehra is celebrated throughout the country at the same time, with varying rituals, but with great enthusiasm and energy as it marks the end of scorching summer and the start of winter season.
The tenth day after Navratri is called Dussehra, on which number of fairs are organized throughout the northern India, burning effigies of Ravana.It is also called “Vijayadashmi” as this day marks the victory of Lord Rama over Ravana. VijayaDashami is considered to be an auspicious day for the Indian householder, on which he worships, protects and preserves ‘Shakti’ (power). According to Scriptures, by worshipping the ‘Shakti’ on these nine-days the householders attain the threefold power i.e. physical, mental and spiritual, which helps him to progress in life without any difficulty.
The ‘Ramlila’ – an enactment of the life of Lord Rama, is held during the nine days preceding Dussehra. On the tenth day (Dussehra or Vijay Dasami), larger than life effigies of Ravana, his son and brother – Meghnadh and Kumbhakarna are set to fire.
The theatrical enactment of this dramatic encounter is held throughout the country in which every section of people participates enthusiastically.
In burning the effigies the people are asked to burn the evil within them, and thus follow the path of truth and goodness, bearing in mind the instance of Ravana, who despite all his might and majesty was destroyed for his evil ways.
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Dussehra is also known as Vijaya Dasami, because of the victory of Ram over Ravana. On this day in Satya Yug, Ram (the eighth incarnation of Lord Vishnu), killed the great demon and king of Lanka, Ravana.
Puranas also opined that in this day warrior Goddess Durga defeated and killed the buffalo demon Mahishasura.
The fast of Karva Chauth is kept by Hindu women for the well-being, prosperity and longevity of their husbands. The origin of this festival is based upon a very sweet and noble idea. In earlier times, girls would get married at a very young age, and had to go and live with their in-laws in other villages far away from their own parents. If she had any problems with her husband or in-laws, she would have no one to talk to or seek support from.
Thus, there grew a custom where the bride would befriend another woman to share her joys and sorrows. Their friendship would be sanctified through a small Hindu ceremony right during the marriage. Once the bride and the woman became god-friends or god-sisters as they are commonly known, they would remain so all their lives and recognize the relation as such. They would also treat each other like real sisters.
After becoming friends, they would share all their joys, sorrows and problems with each other. Thus, Karva Chauth started as a festival to celebrate this friendship (relationship) between the brides and their god-friends (god-sisters). Praying and fasting for the sake of husband came later and was secondary.
It was probably added, along with other mythical tales, to enhance the festival. In any case, the husband would always be associated with this festival, because the day of starting this holy friendship between two god-sisters was essentially the day of bride’s marriage to him. Thus, praying and fasting for him by his wife during the celebration of her relationship with the god-friend would be quite logical.
Diwali or Deepawali or Dipawali The Festival of Lights !
Diwali or Deepawali or Dipawali is one the most important, hugely waited and immensely cherished festival celebrated across India and in parts of Nepal. Originally, the name was Deepawali, which has its origin from Sanskrit, meaning “rows of Deep”.
Over the years the name has been pronounced as Diwali, especially in Hindi, whereas it still remains Dipawali in Nepali. Diwali also popularly known as “Festival of Lights” is celebrated with great gusto and is observed as an official holiday across in India.
The festival of Diwali is not only significant to Hindus, but, has importance in Jainism, Buddhism, and Sikhism. For Hindus, it is associated with the return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya, after his 14 years of exile and victory over the demon Ravana.
On that day, he was welcomed to the kingdom to Ayodhya with rows of Deep, lightened throughout the kingdom.
Thus, there is a tradition of lighting oil lamps that symbolize the victory of good over evil
and freedom from spiritual darkness
Hindus, also make preparations to welcome goddess Lakshmi by drawing rangoli, and footsteps (Paduka) On the entrance that would allure goddess Laksmi to visit one’s home and bring prosperity along with her.
There are numerous customs and traditions associated with Diwali, namely, burning of crackers, playing cards, lightning of lamps, wearing new clothes, distribution of sweets, exchange of gifts etc.
A Five Day Festival:
Diwali celebrations spread across five days, with each day having its own significance and set of rituals.
The first day is called “Dhanteras”, on which new utensils and silver ware is brought to the house. The second day is called “Chhoti Diwali”, which normally involves preparation for the next day and the tradition of playing cards is observed in many families.
The next day, or third day is the “Badi Diwali”, which involves the worshiping of mother Lakshmi.The fourth day is the Govardhan Puja and finally the five days end with Bhai Dooj.
The festival of Diwali is truly a “Festival of Lights”, as it not only involves lighting of Lamps but, it brings the light of happiness, togetherness, spiritual enlightment and prosperity for everyone.
With the sounds of crackers killing all bad-omens, the lighted lamps-lighting the lives of people, the prayers and pujas creating an atmosphere full of goodness and purity, the festival of Diwali indeed fills the atmosphere with an aura of goodness and a heaven like atmosphere.