Durga puja and Dussehra are the two different festivals celebrated around the same time across the country with great enthusiasm and excitement. These festivals are celebrated in different ways and forms in different regions across the country. In North India, it is popularly known as Navratri and Dussehra puja. Navratri celebration lasts for the days and on the last day of Navratri is celebrated Dashmi or Vijayadashami or Dussehra. These Hindu festivals have their own importance & relevance in our lives. Dussehra is celebrated to mark the victory of good over evil, when Lord Ram killed Ravana. We celebrate Durga puja to mark the triumph of Goddess Durga over the demon Mahishasura. In South India, people bring idol of Goddess Durga and worship it during all nine days, whereas in West India people celebrate is differently by organizing Dandiya and Garbha nights.
You can also make this festival special by celebrating it differently with your family. No festival celebration can be considered complete without family. Durga puja and Dussehra celebration can be clubbed together as they are celebrated at the same time. Here we are sharing five different ways to make Durga puja and Dussehra festival celebration special.
Bring Durga idol home: To feel the spirit of this auspicious festival bring idol of Maa Durga home during this Navratri. This is one of the most common and popular ritual during Durga puja. On the first day of Durga puja people bring the Durga idol at home and place it with kalash, coconut and other auspicious items. You can also do the same and set a small Mata ka darbar at home. You can decorate this darbar with lights, flowers and don’t forget to lit “Akhand Jyoti” as the most popular ritual of the Durga puja. This lamp remains lit up during the all nine days.
Follow the Navratri traditions: This is something you can do during this Navratri to enjoy the festival. Follow the traditions of the Navratri and celebrate the festival. You can cook special Navratri food and dress up in traditional nine special colors of Navratri during the all nine days to receive the blessings of the Goddess Durga.
Organize Durga puja at home: During the last three or four days of Navratri you can organize Durga puja at home. You can organize Durga puja traditionally by offering prayers, special food, fruits and sweets to Goddess. Besides, to add some excitement you can also organize some fun activities like singing/bhajan competition or something similar to feel the spirit of festival.
Garbha/Dandiya at home: Garbha or Dandiya is very popular in West India and especially in Maharashtra and Gujarat. You can also add some fun element and organize special Garbha and Dandiya night at home. Don’t forget to invite the relatives, friends and neighbors to enjoy this to the fullest. To make it more interesting you can also plan some dress code or color code for all the guests who will be going to attend your Garbha/Dandiya night party.
Celebrate Dussehra with family: Dussehra is celebrated to mark the victory of good over evil. You can also organize a small Ramayan skit or a special Vijayadashami puja at home. Don’t forget to cook something special and traditional for the family.
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Vijayadashami is also popularly known as Dussehra or Dasara or Dashmi. Dashmi is the tenth day of Navratri or Durgotsav is Hindu festival celebrated in the month of October. It is one of the most widely celebrated festivals in various forms across India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. The day ends a 9 day fasting period of Navratri in the Hindu culture. The day also coincides with immersion of idol of Goddess Durga. The people celebrate this festival to with full fervor and spirit. This is the celebration victory of Good over Evil on Vijayadashami day.
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This festival of Navratri (Nine Nights) is celebrated for Goddess Durga across the country. This is the festival of nine days and nine different forms of Maa Durga are worshipped during all nine days. The tenth day of Durga pooja is known as Vijayadashami or Dussehra. This nine days long festival has started from 13th October and will conclude on 22nd October 2015. In these nine days devotees offer prayers in traditional ways and worship Maa Durga for prosperity and happiness in their life. Diwali always comes 20 days after Dussehra festival. Vijayadashami is one of the important festivals of Hindus and celebrated across the country. It symbolizes the victory of goodness over evil. This special festival is also celebrated in the neighboring countries like Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
On Dussehra, the victory of Maa Durga celebrated by killing Mahishasur the demons king. Also on the same day, Lord Ram defeated the demon king Ravana as described in the epic Ramayan. This nine days long festival has different colors and celebrated differently in different states. Durga Puja pendals are decorated with idols of Durga in almost all cities. People buy wear new clothes and exchange sweets with relatives. In Gujarat, people celebrate this festival differently. They organize special Garba dance, the celebration of Navrati where both boys and girls perform dance on different devotional and folk songs of Gujarat. Garbha is very popular in Gujarat and even other states of India and Indian communities living around the world. During those nine days of Navratri devotees eat one time food during night after giving prayers to Goddess Durga. Navrati foods are available in various hotels, restaurants throughout the 9 days of celebration, even it is very popular among youth. These days are considered purest and people avoid eating non-vegetarian food, onion and garlic.
In these 9 days, people worship Lord Rama and organize the Ramleela drama, the story of the Ramayan. On the Dussehra night, the fairs and large parades with effigies of demon king Ravana, Kumbhakarna and Meghanad are burnt to mark the victory of Lord Ram. Special functions are organized to enjoy the festivities. People organize different pooja session and garbha nights to enjoy this nine days long festival and make it special for all. This special festival is not limited to one region, state or city, but you can witness the festival mood and spirit across the country. No state is untouched with the special flavor of this important festival be it Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Delhi with Navratri colours. In the eastern states like West Bengal, Odisha, Assam, Manipur the festival is mostly celebrated as Durga Puja or Dusshera.
Vijayadashami is also widely celebrated in the south Indian states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala. This is also referred as the auspicious day to begin new business, buying new house, new vehicle and starting something new with the blessings of Goddess Durga.
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