Ramleela, Dussehra and Diwali – The festive season of Lights, lessons and celebrations
All over the world throughout a year there are several festivals that are celebrated by different communities and countries and a lot of them are celebrated with a huge amount of fascinating display of fireworks. The sky lighting up with sparkling colors and sounds of celebration make us all get into the spirit of the festival and being together. Even though there are numerous festivals known for lighting and fireworks, there is none like the festivals of Dussehra and Diwali (aka Deepawali). No other festival in the world is known for beginning its celebration by burning down an effigy. The festival of Dussehra is largely celebrated by burning down the effigy of Demon king Ravana with a bow that is fired by Lord Rama (Played by an actor). As the effigy starts to burn the crackers and fireworks inside it are lit, resulting in a massive show of fireworks bursting out of the Ravana.
Dussehra is a festival which marks as a symbol of the victory of good over evil. Taking origin from the epic of Ramayana, Dussehra is a festival which is celebrated in remembrance of Lord Rama killing the Demon Ravana, to get his wife Sita freed from Ravana’s captivity.
Ramayana is an epic which tells the tale associated with Lord Rama’s 14 years of exile and majorly covers the event of his wife Sita being abducted by Ravana followed by the events describing Rama and his companion’s struggle and fight to get Sita back. This epic of Ramayana is acted as a series of stage plays before Dussehra and is called as “Ramlila”. Every year few days before the Day of Dussehra various Ramlila committee’s around India and abroad, organize plays that showcase the events of Ramayana broken down as various chapters and are acted upon by several experienced actors and devotees each day till the day of Dussehra. On the day of Dussehra, these plays show chapter where Lord Rama kills Ravana by Firing a bow at him. To make the Ravana’s death more dramatic and to celebrate the win of good over evil, this act is generally played away from the stage and that’s where effigies of Ravana and his 2 other demon companions, Meghnath(Ravana’s Son) and Kumbhakaran (Ravana’s brother) are also put into flames by Lord Rama’s arrows. These plays usually end with the closing ceremony and an act that shows the return of Lord Rama back to his Kingdom and taking the throne and thus later ruling the kingdom of Ayodhya as a King.
The last chapter of the play is called “Bharat Milap” as Lord Rama meets his brother Bharat after 14 years. Bharat always wanted Rama to take the throne and to become the king of Ayodhya, however, he was helpless as Lord Rama wanted to complete the exile of 14 years which he promised to his father and guides Bharat to take care of the kingdom while Rama was he was not there. Once Rama returns, Bharat willing steps down as the King to crown Rama as the new king of Ayodhya.
This last act of Lord Rama’s return to Ayodhya and being crowned as the new king is what marks as Diwali (Deepawali) and its celebrated 21 days after Dussehra when he actually reached Ayodhya 21 days after defeating Ravana.
In October 2017 we were invited to a Ramlila Mahotsav 2017 organized by Shri Keshav Ramlila Committee, Pitampura Delhi. The committee has been doing Ramlila from last 21 years in DDA Ground, NSP at Pitampura, Delhi. The years of experience was clearly visible by the well organized and well-played acts of Ramayana. With huge and enormously big effigies of Ravana, Kumbhakaran, and Meghnath and a huge gathering of people, it was pretty clear about the popularity of this Shri Keshav Ramlila. The acts of Ramlila are very informative and a great way to teach youngsters about the values of Indian culture and religious significance of several events. In fact, the play was well fitted with narration and dialogues that not just for kids, we found a lot of new lessons hidden in Ramayana that we were never really able to observe earlier. Indeed, Ramlila is enjoyable, informative and entertaining enough that one can go for every year, without a doubt.
That said, Ramlila and Dussehra are not just about the information and knowledge, instead, it is also appealing for those who have highly active taste buds and those who love to joy rides. We found Delhi’s famous food chain “Bittu Tikki Wala” and several other food stalls right there along with several fun rides to make our evening no less than a complete joy ride.
While we have already had our fair share of experiencing an amazing Ramlila and Dussehra this year, we are eagerly waiting for the Diwali to come.
Originally termed as Deepawali (Festival of lights), Diwali is the festival of lights, when whole India lights up at night with bright lights, candles, and lamps to celebrate the homecoming of Lord Rama to Ayodhya. The sky in India gets lighted up with a nationwide show of fireworks and crackers and every house is decorated with candles and lights. People exchanging sweets and gifts is a delightful sight to watch and an immersive experience to be a part of.
Ramlila, Dussehra, and Diwali are all interlinked with each other in a closed interval of time giving us a complete festive season packed with knowledge and fun all together. The celebration is huge and it’s within these festivals one can see the joy and happiness of people. These festivals surely show out the brightest side of India.
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