Sunday, October 13, 2013


There are four main festivals for Hindu in North India, one for each of four Varn. Rakshaa Bandhan which falls on Shraavan Poornimaa is for Braahman, Dashaharaa which falls on Aashwin Shukla Dashamee is for Kshatriya, Deepaavalee which falls on Kaarttik Amaavasyaa is for Vaishya and Holee which falls on Phaalgun Poornimaa is for Shoodra.

These characteristics manifest themselves in the method of their celebrations also.
Rakshaa Bandhan is celebrated in a very quiet and decent way as of Braahman way,
Dashaharaa is celebrated with weapons in Kshatriya way,
Divaalee is celebrated in a prosperous way as of Vaishya way, and
Holee is celebrated in a rash way as of  Shoodra nature.

Dashaharaa, also known as Vijayaa Dashamee, falls on Aashwin Shukla Dashamee - after the Sharad Nava Raatri ends. It is believed that Raam killed Raavan on this day. Dashaharaa is a compound word, Dash + Haraa. Dash mans ten and Haraa means taking away of or abduction of something. Because this day Raam took away Raavan's ten heads that is why it is known as Dashaharaa. In the same way we should also resolve on this day to cut the ten heads of our passion, (1) pride, (2) anger, (3) greed, (4) infatuation, (5) lust, (6) hatred, (7) jealousy, (8) selfishness, (9) crookedness of demon and (10) ego which are in everybody in a small or big quantity, and thus justify the celebration of Dashaharaa.

Since this festival is mainly for Kshatriya, Kshatriya who have weapons, first clean their weapons and then worship them on this day. If the guns etc have been kept for some time unattended, they are taken out, cleaned and used at least once - they shoot a bullet from their gun or pistol whatever they have.

Many people read Raam Raavan fight and Raavan's killing incident from Raamaayan today.

At some places in UP, sister puts Teekaa (Tilak) on her brother's forehead and the brother gives some money to her.

Good tasty food is prepared on this day and people go to burn the images of Raavan and Kumbhkarn, and to attend the fair with their children after taking food in the afternoon. At several places in the city, the images of  Raavan and Kumbhkarn made from wood, straw and grass etc are erected with lots of fire crackers. Raam Raavan's mock fight takes place and Raam kills Raavan. Those images are set on fire and they burn with lots of noise of fire crackers.

Fairs are organized and men, women and children all enjoy these fairs. This festival is important for farmers also in Northern India. Farmers exchange their barley shoots which they have grown during the last nine days, to check whose produce will be good. They go out to look for special bird "Neelkanth" (whose neck is indigo blue) in their farms. If they find it there they feel happy because in that way their farms will be protected from harmful insects. Neelkanth bird eats many kinds of harmful worms of the fields.

And thus ends the 10-day long festival.
Happy Dashaharaa

Sushma Gupta

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