Indian Festivals

Dasara

Dasara, also called "Navaratri", is among the most important festivals celebrated in India. Unlike Dussera, this is celebrated for 10 days in Southern parts. The Festival of Dasara is celebrated on the occasion of Navaratri. Celebrations are unique ranging from worshipping goddess Chamundeshwari (Durga) to exhibiting colorful toys on the day of 'bombe habba' in Kannada. There is a story for exhibiting toys called as Golu. Since Goddess Durga needed tremendous power, all other Gods and Goddesses transplaced their power to Goddess Durga and so they all stood still as toys and to respect them in these days during which they must be worshipped, we pray toys which are in shape of Gods and Goddesses.
In Karnataka, Ayudh Puja, the ninth day of Dasara, is celebrated with the worship of implements used in daily life such as computers, books, vehicles, kitchen tools etc.
It is an effort to see the divine in the tools and objects one uses in daily life. Basically it includes all tools that help one earn one's livelihood. So knowledge workers go for books, pen or computers, plough and other agricultural tools by the farmer, machinery by industrialists and cars/buses/trucks by transporters are decorated with flowers and worshiped on this day invoking God's blessing for success in coming years. It is believed that any new venture such as starting of business or purchasing of new household items on this day is bound to succeed.

History

This day marks the triumph of Lord Rama over Demon king Ravana. On this day, Rama killed Ravana. Rama was asked to go on exile because his stepmother, Queen Kaikeyee was tricked into asking King Dasaratha to exile him for 14 years. Rama's wife Sita, and his brother Lakshmana went with him willingly. News of Rama staying at an ashram while on exile spread rapidly. A demon, Shoorpanakha found her way there and demanded that Rama or Lakshmana marry her. When both brothers rejected her, she threatened to kill Sita, so that Rama would then be single again. Lakshmana then cut off her ears and nose. Shoorpanakha's brother was the demon King Ravana. Ravana was incensed to hear what happened to his sister, and kidnapped Sita to avenge the insult. The Ramayana chronicles Rama's travels and deeds as he searched for his wife, and defeated evil.

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