India is the land of festivities and diversities. Throughout the year, there are different festivals celebrated in different styles across different parts of the country. Navratri is the perhaps most widely celebrated festivals in the country which is celebrated in a different style in different states followed by Dusshera. With Garba in Gujrat to Durga Pooja in West Bengal, each state has its own way of celebrating these festivals.
Navaratri and Dussehra/Dassera together last for ten days. The first nine days are dedicated to the worship of Goddesses and are known as Navaratri which means nine nights. Dussehra is also known as Vijayadashmi, is the last and tenth day of the celebration. It is derived from the word Das (in Hindi) or Dasha (in Sanskrit) which means a number ten.
Hindus celebrate this auspicious festival during the early fall season which is the end of September and the start of October. All these nine days, the nine avatars of the Universal Mother are worshipped. The period of nine days is distributed amongst Goddess Durga, to destroy all impurities and bad things in our life; followed by Goddess Lakshmi, to impart us spiritual wealth and then by Goddess Saraswati who is the goddess of knowledge to shower us with wisdom. To get the blessings of all three Goddesses, they are worshipped across all nine days by offering prayers and keeping the fasts. Navratris are considered as the most auspicious days for starting any new venture by the Hindus.
The spiritual energies are high during these days. Girls dressed up in ethnic lehenga choils and boys dressed in traditional kurta payjamas participate in the Garba and Dandia to exhibit the feel of the festival through varied colors blended with foot-tapping music and dancing in a completely traditionally setting.
The nine days Navratri festivities end in great grandeur with Dussehra on the tenth day which marks the triumph of good over evil. It involves setting on fire the effigy of Ravana to mark the defeat of evil. Dussehra celebrations also include the organization of Ram Leelas on small and large scale across the country where the heroic story of Ramayan is depicted by the artists dressed in heroic costumers and make-ups and delivering dramatic performances.
People from all diversities come together to enjoy the high spirits of these fun-filled festivals which celebrate the victory of good over the evil. These ten days you get to enjoy dance, drama, music along with sumptuous food to pamper your taste buds.