Thursday, October 2, 2014

Season of festivities: Dusshera

The beginning of autumn fills the air with so many reasons to cheer about! Along with great weather, these are many festivals lined up in the month of October to December. As a winter chill sets in here in northern India, a relief from the scorching summers the festivities begin with the celebration of the Dusshera festival.

Dusshera also known as Vijayadashami celebrates the victory of of good over evil as described in hindu religious texts where Lord Rama defeated the demon king Ravana and Goddess Durga defeated the demon Mahishasur.
Effigies of 10 headed demon king, Ravana
As the legend goes, King Rama who was a reincarnation of hindu God, Lord Vishnu, killed the great demon Ravana who had abducted his wife Sita and taken her to his kingdom, Lanka. Rama took blessings from Goddess Durga and along with his brother Lakshmana, his follower Hanuman and an army of monkeys fought a  battle defeat Ravana and  rescue Sita. 

Dusshera is celebrated by burning effigies of the 10 headed demon king Ravana and his accomplices and bursting of crackers.

As per another legend some of the demons, were very powerful and ambitious and continually tried to defeat the Devas, or Gods, and capture Heaven. One such poweful demon Mahishasur defeated the Devas and wreaked havoc on eargh. To overcome and defeat this demon, the devas joined forces and released a single mass of incandescent energy called Shakti to kill Mahishasura. This shakti emerged in the form of a young, beautiful female with ten hands, known as Goddess Durga. All the Gods gave their special weapons to her. In a battle that went on for 9 days Goddess Durga , riding on a lion, fought Mahishasur and finally defeated him on the 10th day. 
A idol of Goddess Durga, showing her ten hands , the lion she rode and the demon Mahishasur she defeated


Hence the nine days preceeding Dusshera are known as Maha Navratri refering to the nine days during which Goddess Durga fiercely fought Mahishasur. Hindus often observe fast on all of these nine days and offer prayers to the Goddess.


19 comments:

Priscilla Yeo said...

This is interesting.
I never knew there is a later half of the Hindu story I heard before.

Cheers~
Pingerrain*Priscilla
http://www.pingerrain.com

Tiffany Yong W.T. said...

Thanks for sharring the Dusshera story. I always feel the sense of familiarity when I read legends and stories about Hindu gods (as that's where Buddhism originate from!)

rebecca wong said...

Hi, thanks for sharing! Now I know slightly more on the Hindu story.

R U S S said...

It's an interesting festival. It reminds me of feasts in honor of saints ( very similar ) that we do here in the Philippines.

fyhmd said...

Rama and Sita have also found their way into a Filipino musical that is well-loved. That is why Filipinos also know the story of Rama and Sita. - Fred

Vanessa said...

Fasting seems like a great way to honor that Goddess but fasting for nine days would be too much for me. Anyways, that seems like a great festival to celebrate with crackers and other festivities.

Suzanne said...

I am not sure I could handle that much fasting, but I can understand how important it is to those who follow. I must add that I love the vibrant colours in all the surrounding!

Franc said...

This made me appreciate their customs better. It's really connected to their history.

Jason P. said...

I always enjoy mythology and this particular tale had me so incredibly intrigued! I just might read more Hindu mythology during my term break! :)

Ecuador InMyEyes said...

Sounds like a really interesting festival! Thank you for sharing the history and mythology connected to it! I wish I could visit the festival myself...

Tim OCallaghan said...

That's a great story and thanks very much for sharing it. I have always loved the stories I hear when traveling and this one is famous for sure.

ListOTop said...
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Justin Vawter said...

I really find this interesting since Hindu stories amuse me.

Ling Tan said...

Thanks for sharing the story behind the festival! Always good to learn more about all religion.

kanu nato said...

Very interesting story. Hinduism is part of my high school history it is indeed interesting.

Fernando Lachica said...

You share this beautiful event of your belief. Am sure to learn more from it.

Eva Arce said...

great read! I am always fascinated with different stories of every religions.

Eliz Frank said...

I love celebrating special holidays. They give us an opportunity to spend time with family, pray, reflect, and have a fun time.

Amie said...

Very interesting story, I never knew about this!