Celebrating Dussehra 2013
With approximately 1.2 billion people, India is the world’s second largest country. One of the mainstays of their culture is the practicing of the Hindu religion. Hinduism is a religious belief system filled with philosophies, intellect and celebrations like the upcoming Dussehra 2013.
The People Who Celebrate This Festival
Traditionally, it is the people of India and those who follow the Hindu faith that observe the holiday. However, because the celebration is so old and such a part of the cultural traditions, there have been accounts in Southern India where non-Hindu’s and even some churches embraced the event. Although India is the home of the holiday, the merriment can be found anywhere around the world where people of the Hindu religion wish to recognize it.
The Background of the Holiday
The religious observance is based on the victory of the Hindu god Rama over a demon king named Ravana. It is the quintessential battle of good and evil, and is all based around the mythical story of Ramayana. In this story the evil king of Lanka, Ravana, steals Rama’s wife, Sita, for himself. The name of the festival is derived from Sanskrit and translates to “remover of ten.” This refers to Ravana’s ten heads of lust, anger, delusion, greed, over pride, jealousy, mind, intellect, will and ego.
Events and Observances People Take Part in for the Celebration
All kinds of traditional observances, such as “melas,” which are huge outdoor fairs, will be celebrated during Dussehra 2013. During the ten days people will also present food offerings and special prayers at the temples or even at their homes. People all over like to dress up in celebratory outfits and there will be groups of people who put on theatrical re-enactments of the mythical battle between Rama and Ravana. There will be some individuals who will feast to celebrate this time, and others who choose the opposite and fast in observance.
Common Elements of the Festivities
No matter how up to date or contemporary Dussehra 2013 celebrations may be in some areas, there will always be some common traditional elements at the events. One element is that of fire. This will be displayed in bonfires where people will offer paper or wooden effigies of the evil King. The element of fire will also be seen in brilliant fireworks and pyrotechnic displays. People will also be seen wearing the tika, or traditional red spot, on their foreheads. There will usually be parades and pageants, and in some regions there will also be sacrificial rituals with animals.
Dussehra 2013 will begin celebration on October 14th and run for ten days. People will find this to be a time of new beginnings and renewal, as well as a time to celebrate their religion and culture. There may be some variations from region to region but each will incorporate special foods, the retelling of the Ramayana and people coming together for a single cause in joy and participation in the festivity.