Navarati and Dussera Celebrations

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Dussera Festival, Dassera, Navaratri

***** Location: India
***** Season: Autumn (others see below)
***** Category: Observance


Navaratri : Nine Nights Of Festivities

When the last showers of the monsoon are beginning to fall sparsely between spells of bright sunshine, comes the month of Ashwin. In this month/the festive season in India reaches a crescendo with the beginning of the nine-day Navaratri (Navarati, Navratri) festival.

For weeks, people eagerly look forward to this time of gladness and celebration. Navaratri is a combination of many concepts. Durga or Shakti, the goddess of power and vitality, has nine forms called Navadurga. On each day of the nine days, she takes a new form, with an arsenal of weapons, to ride a lion and fight the demon Malahishasura.

Her eight arms hold different weapons given to her by various gods to annihilate this enemy of dharma. The legend about this battle relates how the demon was so powerful that no god could individually defeat him. The whole pantheon prayed to Shakti (Durga) to fight him with the collective weapons given by them. On the ninth day Durga killed the demon. Vijayadashami or Dussera, the 10th day, is celebrated with feasting and rejoicing as her day of victory. Venerated all over the country as the mother goddess, here Durga assumes her awesome warrior-like aspect in order to annihilate the forces of evil and darkness and bring harmony and light.

This icon from Gujarat shows Durga mounted on a lion, combining grace and beauty with power and fierceness.

The most joyous celebration of Navaratri is seen in Gujarat, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Bengal. Gujarati women plant nine pulses and cereals in earthen pots on the first day and worship the growing plants for nine days. The plants are then dried and kept till next Dussera or immersed in a river or the sea.

Every night, people gather in courtyards to gaily dance the dandiya raas and garba, a community dance in which men and women dressed in festive clothes, dance in pairs with dandiyas or painted wooden sticks with tiny bells attached to them The raas originated from the state of Guiarat. where the worship of the mother goddess has always assumed a large role in the lives of the people.


Dussera, Dasara, Dussehra: Day Of Victory

Vijayadashami or Dussera, the 10th day of the bright half of Ashmn, is celebrated as the day of victory to rejoice about Durga's triumph over the demon Mahishasura.

In Mysore, at the hilltop Chamundi temple, Dussera is a picturesque festival. The goddess is the maharaja's family deity and a procession of elephants, courtiers and court symbols attracts tourists by the thousands as it winds its circuituous way to the temple, decorated splendidly for the festival. With the decline of the royal family of Mysore however, this festival has lost some of its traditional lustre.

In Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, families arrange dolls (Bommai Kolu) and artefacts with decorative displays of lamps and flowers. Women traditionally exchange gifts of coconuts, clothes and sweets.

In the northern states, Dussera also celebrates the homecoming of Rama the hero of the epic Ramayana, after his victory over Ravana, the king of Lanka. In vast open spaces, Ramleela, the folk play with music and spontaneous dialogues, retelling the story of the life of Rama, are enacted till the wee hours. Songs are sung in praise of Rama and people in their thousands witness this traditional theatre with its exaggerated costumes, jewellery, makeup and drama. (Larger-than-life figures of Ravana and other demons are burnt on cold, dark nights with fireworks lighting up the sky. )

Dussemis also reminiscent of the end of the exile and banishment of the Pandava princes in the Mahabharata and their return with their weapons to claim their kingdom In memory of this epic story, people in Maharashtra worship the implements of their professions and distribute the leaves of the Shami tree as 'gold' and express goodwill.

Dussera celebrates the joyous homecoming of Rama, the hero of the epic Ramayana, after his war with Ravana the demon king of Lanka. Huge effigies of the ten-headed demon, filled with different firecrackers, are set alight to celebrate the victory of good over evil. This celebration is called Ramleela.

Tulzapur, a temple town in Maharashtra, comes to life on the autumn full moon day. Bhavani, the goddess who gave the Maratha king Shivaji, his famous sword, is taken out in Chhabina, a moonlight procession of great sulendour.

Vijayadashami is the day of Saraswati or the deity of knowledge and learning. Children begin their school education, their art lessons or their career planning on this day and seek their elders' blessings.
For Hindus, Dussera is one of the four most auspicious days of the year.


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Bomma kolu. Bommala kolu, Bommai kolu

NAVARATRI symbolises different things in different regions besides the worship of the mother goddess - Bomma kolu in Tamil Nadu, Ram Lila in the north, Garba and dandiya in Gujarat.
In the Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh the Bathakamma ritual - the worship of the goddess is rooted in folk traditions. What is perhaps heartening is despite urbanisation and modernisation the traditions continue, festivals still find favour with cross-cultural trends gaining ground (an example is dandiya becoming popular in the South). The bomma kolu, an inherent aspect of celebrations of Tamil Nadu, are very much celebrated by the Tamilians living outside the State. Each year the celebrations go on with great gusto.

Each household (mostly women are involved) conceptualises kolu differently. Some women take great pains in creating different figures using a wide variety of materials, while others work on themes - mostly from Puranic and mythological lore.

Read more HERE
source : www.hindu.com

More Reference

Worldwide use

Things found on the way

Vasanta Navaratri
The beginning of spring and the beginning of autumn are considered to be important junctions of climatic and solar influences. These two periods are taken as sacred opportunities for the worship of the Divine Mother Durga. The dates of the festival are determined according to the lunar calendar.

1. Vasanta Navaratri:
Basanta Navaratri, also known as Vasant Navaratri, is the festival of nine days dedicated to the nine forms of Shakti (Mother Goddess) in the spring season (March–April). It is also known as Chaitra Navaratri. The nine days of festival are also known as Raama Navratri.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

nine nights festival
seek the goddess' blessings
fasting and dancing

Angelee Deodhar
Spring 2013


Dasara -
a goat chews the garland
on the cycle

A 9-day festival, on one day of which vehicles and other machines, instruments and objects of skill and learning are decorated with flowers.

Johannes Manjrekar, 2006  


bommai kolu ~
paadum kuzhandaikal
pattu paavaadayil

பொம்மை கொலு ~
பாடும் குழந்தைகள்
பட்டு பாவாடயில்

Look at the version in Tamizh (Tamil)

bommai kolu ~
singing children
in silk paavaadai

Paavaadai, pavadai ~ South Indian long skirt ~
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Narayanan Raghunathan
Wonder Haiku Worlds


Dussera celebrations...
divine mother on the earth
shower of blessings

Kumarendra Mallick
Hyderabad, India, 2011

Dassera Greetings - 2013

Dassera and then Deepavali form the main festive season in India. Dassera assumes great significance, since we welcome Mother Durga into our midst on the earth. It is the ninth day of Navaratri, and today, Oct 07, 2013 is the third day of this great festival.
First three days of Navaratri (Nava = nine, ratri = night) are dedicated to Maa Saraswati, the goddess of learning, art and music, the next three days to goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity and the last three days to goddess Durga, the deity of power, energy, who destroys evil.

To be fair, these three entities – learning and wisdom, wealth and prosperity, and power (Shakti), are present in each of us. Dassera, therefore, is a reminder to recognize our innate attributes, that should remain ever burning. These should not be allowed to slip into dormancy.

Accordingly, our ancient seers have chanted:

Ya devi sarvabhuteshu vidya rupen sasthita
namo tasya yee namo tasya yee namo tasya yee namo namo

(The goddess who manifests as wisdom in every existence,
we salute her we salute her we salute her again and again)

Ya devi sarvabhuteshu dhana rupen sasthita
namo tasya yee namo tasya yee namo tasya yee namo namo

(The goddess who manifests as wealth in every existence,
we salute her we salute her we salute her again and again)

Ya devi sarvabhuteshu shakti rupen sasthita
namo tasya yee namo tasya yee namo tasya yee namo namo

(The goddess who manifests as power or energy in every existence,
we salute her we salute her we salute her again and again)

Dassera therefore stands for higher qualities of man, an urge to be noble and achieve good for ourselves and for the society. We need to strive and be wise to treasure human values so that goodness prevails in our day-to-day life.

Keeping these ideals in mind let us greet each other, and pray mother Durga to bless all of us on the earth.

autumn festival --
mothers of wisdom, wealth and power
knock at our door

- Shared by Kumarendra Mallick -
Haiku Culture Magazine, 2013


before Ramlila
carefully shaves of
his moustache

three idols are burnt amidst
fireworks and smoke

Angelee Deodhar

Related words

***** Festivals of India, all are kigo

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Navarati and Dussera Celebrations Every night, people gather in courtyards to gaily dance the dandiya raas and garba, a community dance in which men and women dressed in festive clothes, dance in pairs with dandiyas.