Top Four Festivals Celebrated in India During Autumn
Mon 30 Sep 2019 Category : General | Posted By : admin
Autumn is the season of festivals in India. ‘Ganpati Chaturthi’, ‘Navratri’, ‘Dussehra’ and ‘Diwali, all are celebrated in the months of autumn.
India is famous worldwide for its cultural, religious and ethnic diversity. Different ethnic entities have their own festivals. Throughout the annual calendar, we have festivals to keep us busy. However, it is in autumn when the whole nation, irrespective of religious, social and financial differences, come together to soak in the spirit of festivities.
In Maharashtra, ‘Ganpati Chaturthi’ is celebrated for ten-days. Though the festival is also celebrated in the states of Goa, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal, only in Maharashtra people celebrate it in the grandest way.
Gigantic statues of Ganpati Bappa are worshipped in marquees, all decked up with multicoloured lights, flowers, colourful cellophane papers, polystyrene, and varieties of other decorative materials. Every year, approximately, 1,50,000 idols are immersed in the Arabian Sea.
Ganpati is a god with the head of an elephant. How did he get it? Was he born like that? What is the legend behind the mystery of the god with an elephant head?
Let’s find out.
The legend that goes behind Ganpati Chaturthi
Lord Ganpati is the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. According to Hindu mythology, Lord Shiva cut off the head of Ganpati when the latter stopped him from entering the place where Goddess Parvati was taking a bath. Upon knowing that Goddess Parvati had created Ganpati with her will power and that Ganpati is also his son, Lord Shiva felt ashamed of his deed.
Filled with remorse, Lord Shiva sought the advice of Goddess Parvati. She came up with a unique solution. She told Lord Shiva to cut off the head of the first animal that caught his attention and splice it upon the headless body of Ganpati. As you can understand, the first animal that Lord Shiva came across was an elephant. So this is the story behind the birth of Lord Ganpati.
Ganpati Chaturthi celebrates the birth of Lord Ganpati.
The celebration of ‘Navratri’ commences after Ganpati Chaturthi. ‘Nav Ratri’ or nine nights is the period when nine different forms of Goddess Durga are worshipped throughout India. The festival ends with the celebration of ‘Vijaya Dashami’ which is commemorated as the return of Lord Ram from fourteen years of exile. ‘Vijaya Dashami’ celebrates the victory of good over the bad.
People observe fast for nine-days Navratri festival. They wear new clothes and buy accessories, gifts for loved ones. It is celebrated twice every year- one during the springtime and the other during autumn. The latter is more popular because of the passion it is celebrated with.
In West Bengal, we celebrate Navratri as Durga Puja. The city of joy, Kolkata, looks at her best with grand pandals, magnificent decors, lights, glam and glitter. People from far off places reach Kolkata to see these amazing pieces of craftsmanship. How did Goddess Durga acquire such magnificent power? How was she created?
The legend that goes behind Navratri and Durga Puja
Once a powerful demon called ‘Mahishasura’ wreaked havoc on earth and heaven. Even the gods in heaven couldn’t match his powers. The gods went to Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwara, the trinity of gods and the mightiest of all according to Hindu legends. The trinity created Goddess Durga with their combined power.
Gods bestowed her with the best of their weapons. They made her invincible. Durga and Mahishasura fought a bitter battle. At the end of the ninth day of Navratri, Durga killed Mahishasura and saved the universe from his terror.
Dussehra is a ten-days long festival celebrated all over India. The festival relives the saga of ‘Ramayana’, one of the oldest epics in human civilisation. Dussehra culminates with ‘Vijayadashami’. It is a symbolic win of good over evil.
Dussehra is celebrated in vast open spaces with marquees where ‘Ramlila’ is performed. ‘Ramlila’ is dramatised performance of ‘Ramayana’. People come with their families to watch Ramlila.
The festival is held in big grounds where exhibitors put their stalls to sell different kinds of stuff. The sites of Ramlila are decked up fairgrounds.
The legend that goes behind Dussehra
Dussehra festival commemorates the epic war between Lord Rama and demon king Ravana. The latter kidnapped Devi Sita, the wife of Lord Rama, who is worshipped for her strength of character and mind. Lord Rama fought a fierce battle with Ravana and killed him to bring Devi Sita back to Ayodhya.
Vijayadashami is the day when it is believed that Lord Rama had killed Ravana. In all over India, thousands of effigies of Ravana are burnt to symbolically represent the annihilation of evil. Dussehra celebrates the spirit of everything good and pious.
Diwali is the festival of lights. This is the most vibrant of all festivals celebrated in India. People decorate their homes with lights, diyas, flowers, and various other decorative elements. They buy new clothes and gift items for friends and family members.
During Diwali, people worship Goddess Laxmi, the deity who is believed to take care of the finances. Women draw rangolis and prepare sumptuous delicacies. People spend the night of Diwali worshipping Goddess Laxmi.
Last but not the least, children and adults light firecrackers. Nowadays, green firecrackers are available in the market that minimise environmental pollution. Skies light up with fireworks. Cities and villages look vibrant. All places glitter and glow.
The legend that goes behind Diwali
It is believed that Diwali commemorates the return of Lord Rama from 14 years of exile. Lord Rama accompanied by Devi Sita and Laxman, the younger brother of Lord Rama, returned to Ayodhya after killing Ravana and rescuing Devi Sita from confinement.
The whole city of Ayodhya celebrated the moment by lighting up their homes with diyas. So, like Dussehra, Diwali too celebrates the victory of light over darkness.
Autumn is the time to uplift your spirit. Festivals celebrated in autumn are truly reinvigorating.