Ravan Dahan - Navratri Festival
Navaratri, Dussehra and Diwali - Most Spectacular of All
From the start of October till the end of November, it is the time when entire country is tinged in colors of celebrations, enthusiasm and devotion. It all starts with the nine day festival named 'Navaratri'. It is named so, because the festival literally continues for nine nights. This nine day festival is celebrated for worshiping three divine goddesses, Durga (Goddess of Power), Lakshmi (Goddess of Wealth), and Saraswati (Goddess of Knowledge). Dussehra, the tenth day is the most important day of the festival. After 21 one days comes the biggest celebration time, the festival of Diwali. This is the most awaited period by millions of Hindus in the country. In fact, the festive mood engulfs one and all, irrespective of their religion and beliefs. During the months of October and November, the levels of excitement and energy are touching the skies. For shopaholics, there is no better time than this to explore the many Indian markets as every shop provides exciting offers and discounts on almost everything. One will see most extravagant celebrations in the city of Mumbai. The festivities do not end here. Festivals like Govardhan Puja and Bhai Dooj come in quick successions. Though the exact dates are set according to the Indian lunar calendar. The rituals performed during the festivals varies in different parts of the country.
Enchanting Experinces of Dussehra
The day when King Ravana was defeated by Lord Rama is the day we celebrate as Dussehra. More than anybody else, kids are the one who enthusiastically look forward to this day. In the morning, all you see will be huge statues of King Ravana standing in open grounds. The sheer size of them will give you a hint that something special is on offer. The burning of effigies is one of the most the most spectacular events of the year. And there is no better place than Delhi's Ramlila ground to be at, for this splendid moment. What makes the event special here is that there are three gigantic effigies instead of one. Feel the excitement and enthusiasm grow among the spectators as the portraits are set ablaze. The noises will grow loud but notice the silence of expectation gripping one and all. The biggest surprise for you is still to come. The effigies are completely stuffed with firecrackers and as they start going off, all you hear will be, well nothing except the crackers.
Diwali - Time For Joyous Celebrations
21 days after Dussehra comes the most awaited festival in India, Diwali. Celebrated as a day when Lord Rama returned home after his 14 year exile, it is definitely the brightest of all festivals. The preparation for the festival starts from as early as one month before. During this period, just step out and you will be engulfed by an atmosphere of festivities and jubilations. Diwali is called the festival of lights and once you see the decorations, you will come to know why. Every house, every street, every corner is decorated and lit up to the hilt. Though the earthen lamps have been replaced by scintillating electric lights to a huge extent, but still, many households use the earthen lamps for the decoration. Shopping is the main activity that people indulge in during the season. Sweets and gifts for self and relatives are the main items that are brought around this time. On the evening of Diwali, Goddess Laxmi is worshiped for wealth and prosperity. You will be amazed to know that on this day, people don't lock their homes as they believe that Goddess Laxmi might turn away if the doors are locked. Well lights and decorations are all magical to see but that is not the main attractions of the day. Wait till the night falls. You are all set for some magnificent fireworks. The skies will light up and the atmosphere will reverberate with the sounds of crackers. Being n India during Diwali is nothing less than magical experience.
Exuberance of Mumbai Celebrations
If you are looking for some high volume and high glitter entertainment during the festive season, then Mumbai is the place for you. Throughout the city, huge shows which are absolutely lavish and extravagant, are organized. The shine and shimmer of Mumbai celebrations will sweep you off your feet. The shows are either held in huge grounds or in grand halls of five star hotels. The exclusiveness is further added to famous by singers and actors who come here to perform. In Mumbai, Dandiya nights during Navaratri, are simply spellbinding. Huge number of people take part in the dandiya dance performances making it an absolute treat to watch. Scores of people from all parts of the country and even abroad, visit Mumbai to be a part of such exuberant celebrations. Durga Puja in Mumbai is also something that attracts exceptional number visitors. The energy that flows through the celebrations will leave you mesmerized. The already sparkling Mumbai, further brightens itself by adding more decorations and colors to homes and streets.
The Divine Time of Durga Puja in West Bengal
The time of Durga Puja in West Bengal calls for huge celebrations through out the state. The Puja start on the sixth day of the Navaratri and ends in the evening of the tenth day. The celebrations start with welcoming Goddess Durga and ends with the immersion of idol of the goddess in a river or a lake. Although it is believed that the idol must be immersed in the sacred River Ganges. The preparation for the festival starts way early. Even the idol making starts a month in advance. The idols for the puja are made from clay the traditional way. During the festive days, almost every locality in the state sets up their own Pandal (tents for the puja). Special care is given to the decoration of pandal as well. The best decorations are done inside the pandal. Cultural programmes by the locales are organized on every day of the Puja. The performances carry on through out the day.
Dance To The Tunes of Garba And Dandiya in Gujarat
If West Bengal is famous for the Durga Puja celebrations, Gujarat is renowned for its Garba and Dandiya-ras Dance. The dances are performed throughout the nine days of Navaratri. In the morning, people indulge in the puja rituals, and in the evening, go to the social gatherings where almost everyone takes part in the dance performances. Garba Dance is performed only by the women. Another famous dance is the dandiya-ras that is performed by both men and women together. Every performer holds two sticks called dandiya in their hands while dancing. At the end of the performance, the best dance performers get a prize. The dance is particularly famous among the youngsters as the dance literally turns into a match making event, though elders as well participate actively in the dance. The dances continue through out the night that make it extremely popular among people. The energy and excitement of the performers will sweep you of your feet. Many such functions are organized almost in all localities of the state. Citizens, after finishing their household works, step out in their new and best attire. And the colors of the dresses will simply leave you spellbound.
Become a Part of Stunning Celebrations
Nothing brings the whole India closer than these nine days. Entire country is lost in the same mood of fervor and festivities. Nine days of Navaratri are the most awaited period of an year, so people put in their every effort to make the festival as grand as possible. Visit India during this period and get yourself introduced you to a new way of extravagant celebrations and utmost devotion.