Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Today is Dasara; celebrating the victory of Shakti over Mahishasura, of Lord Rama over Ravana and of Durga over the demons like Madhu-Kaitav, Chanda-Munda and Shumbha – Nishumbha. The victory of good over evil.

In Maharashtra, the festival is celebrated on the tenth day of the month of Ashwin (which falls in October) according to the Shaka Hindu Calendar. These three and a half days in the Hindu Lunar calendar are considered very auspicious. On Dasha-Hara day, the deities installed on the first day of the Navratri are immersed in water. This day also marks the victory of Lord Rama over Ravana. People visit each other and exchange sweets. People worship the Aapta tree (Bauhinia variegata) and exchange its leaves (known as golden leaves) as a symbol of gold and wish each other a bright & prosperous future. The tradition of exchanging aapta leaves is synonymous to Raghuraja, an ancestor of Ramachandra and Kubera. Similar to Ayudha Puja in Karnataka, many groups and communities, largely the artisan castes, celebrate Khande navami, the day before Dasha-Hara; tools of all kinds are given rest and ritually worshiped. In Maharashtra, people also ritually cross the border of their community, in a ceremony known as Simollanghan, which has its roots in the idea that this day is an auspicious one on which to start ventures. In ancient times kings used the feast of Dasha-Hara to cross the frontier and fight against their neighbouring kingdoms. Thus Dasha-Hara also marks the beginning of the war season.

Image Courtesy: Google Images

So, here’s wishing each one of you and your families a very happy Dasara and hope it brings to you loads of happiness, success, good health and the love of your dear ones. Enjoy!!

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