Dussehra is a very important Hindu festival which brings a lot of happiness in the
family. All over the country, the preparations start early so that the grand festival
can be enjoyed with full energy and zeal. The festival usually begins with a nine
day event known as Navratri in which Goddess Durga is worshipped. The real glimpse
of Durga puja can be seen in South
where this festival is organized in a very grand style with lots of people gathering
to worship the Goddess and seek her blessings. On all the nine days, people will
wear new clothes and special prayers are offered at that time. As it is a big festival,
therefore people make sure that all the preparations are done in advance.
On all the nine days, different avatars of Goddess Durga are worshipped. Though
it is a Hindu festival but people of other religions are also very active and participate
in various activities of the festival. During this time, a beautiful idol of Goddess
Durga is kept in homes and other places. People collect together and prayer for
the peace and happiness of their family. Everyday prayers are offered to the goddess
with full faith. On the tenth day the goddess is submersed in the water and people
eagerly wait for the next year when goddess durga will come to give her blessings.
On the same day, that is the tenth day of Navratri an effigy of King Ravana is burnt
to celebrate the victory of good over the bad. The festival is also known as Vijayadashmi.
Special puja is also organized on this day with a number of preparations that require
flowers, roli, cow dung, food etc. A special arti is also done with the food being
used as a Prasad. In some of the families, a priest is called to perform the puja
and chant mantras.
This puja is usually done in the morning with the family members participating in
it. Once the puja is done, Brahmins are called and the Prasad is given to them.
Food is also served to them and at the end dakshina is also given. Once the puja
is over, the family members go to meet other people and give them the Dussehra wishes.
Lots of tasty dishes are prepared at home and the same is served to all the guests.
During the night an effigy of the demon is burnt and people celebrate with lots
of crackers and lightings.