The Festive season’s upon us! The months of September-October-November are very festiv-y and well-lit-up; what with Ganesh Puja, Dussehra and Diwali all falling during these months. Arguably the best time of the year – festival spirit-wise. We’ve got a well-deserved holiday today (even though Vijaya Dasami is only on Sunday) that extends the weekend to a 3-day affair
Dussehra’s quite an important festival in the Indian calendar and is celebrated slightly differently in different parts of the country. Not surprising, coz there exist two separate err…umm.. mythological happenings that are part of this festival lore. Whilst for some people Dussehra marks Lord Rama’s victory over Ravana, for others, it stands for Goddess Durga’s annihilation of the monster Mahishasura. In any case, itz a victory of Good over Evil and is cause enough for celebration. Mysore, Himachal’s Kullu Valley, New Delhi & West Bengal are the places where the festival buzz is more predominant and they consist of ornate elephant processions, rath yatras, Ramlilas and Durga Puja respectively. Dussehra in my hometown of Berhampur in Orissa is also a colorful affair – the whole town is decked up with Durga Puja Pandalswith elaborate lighting, decorations, buntings and scaffolding. The shopping season also gather momentum and gains absolute peak towards Diwali time. I remember we would roam around the town from one pandal to another and enjoy the atmosphere and the gaiety all around. The festival would culminate on the 11th day when all the town’s Durga Idols would gather at one place and the best-decorated one would be awarded a prize. That would go on till late into the night before all the idols make their way towards the sea for immersion. The colorful and exciting puja season simmers down thereon until Diwali when it crackles up again. But thatz for another day!!! Happy Dussehra everyone….
P.S: I almost forgot mentioning Kumar Purnima! Itz the day dedicated to taash parties and our entire family gets together for an all-night-cards-marathon