Rajasthan is the land of colors and traditions which celebrates every festival with much fanfare and enthusiasm. Navratri is one of the most popular festivals, especially in Jaipur, the capital city of Rajasthan state. This festival holds great significance among people of Jaipur which houses the famous temple of Sheela Mata in Amber Fort.
Famous temple of Sheela Mata in Amber Fort ( Image source: |Author=[http://www.flickr.com/photos/73602877@N00 Adamina] |Permission= |oth )
Sheela Mata is another incarnation of Goddess Durga, which represents Shakti, the cosmic energy that animates all beings. Thousands of devotees pay visit to Amber fort for darshan of Sheela Mata during these nine days of Navratri at Amber Fort. This festival symbolizes health and prosperity, and is celebrated in a very traditional way. During these nine days, devotees’ worship various incarnations in different forms of Goddess.
This festival acquires a fascinating and colorful dimension with energetic and cheerful dances of Garbha and Dandiya-Raas. These dances are performed by a group who move gracefully and in a rhythmic manner in circles of measured steps. To help in maintaining the rhythm of the dance, markings with sticks (also called as Dandiya) or with hands like claps are made. Both men and women are dressed in the traditional attires with beautifully designed accessories.
Navaratri festival is very popular amongst tourists as well, as it is a great medium to get close to the rich culture of Rajasthan.
This year, Navratri celebration is starting from October 17th to October 25th and On 26th October Dussehra will be celebrated.
About Dussehra Festival –
This Hindu festival commemorates the killing of Ravana (an evil king from Sri Lanka) by Lord Rama (an incarnation of Lord Vishnu). The festival is preceded by nine days Navratri celebration in which Goddess Durga is worshipped in order to seek her blessings for a good harvest season.
According to Hindu mythology, Ravana abducted Sita, the consort of Lord Rama while they were in exile. Lord Rama not only killed Ravana but also established an indelible reason for the Hindu devotees to celebrate his triumph as a day of Dussehra. For the celebration of Dussehra, large effigies are created which are later burned to ashes as a symbol of the defeat of the evil. All around the country, these effigies are made and burned, prayers are also offered and plays are performed as a part of the celebration both in Rajasthan as well as across the country.
The large size of the effigies of the ten-headed Ravana, Kumbhkarna (Ravana’s brother), and Meghnath (Ravana’s son) are made for the celebration of Dussehra in Kota, Rajasthan. The effigies are about 75 feet in height making them the highest in India. A fair is also held in Kota around Dussehra festival where artisans from across the state come. Apart from Kota, Jaipur also celebrates Dussehra with all pomp and show.
Due to COVID, this year, presently public celebrations have been cancelled by the Government. However, these festivals will be celebrated at home taking care of all the safety and hygienic measures.
In Short about Dussehra:
Dussehra is celebrated in the month of October or November. The exact date changes every year according to Hindu calendar.
Special highlights of the festival:
1. Large effigies of Ravana, Meghnath, and Kumbhkarna are built and burned on Dussehra.
2. Plays based on the killing of Ravana by Lord Rama are performed
3. In Kota, the highest effigies of 75 feet are built
4. A fair is held in Kota on Dussehra day.
Autor: Suchita Pandey
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Navratri Special recipe from Rajasthan