Explanation on Festivals

Guru Purab is celebrated as the birth anniversary of Guru Nank, the first Guru of the Sikhs who founded the Sikh faith in the North India.  The two main events which are the part of the festival are the recitation of the holy book and taking out the holy book in a procession.  The ‘Akhand Path’ or the contionous reading of the ‘Granth’ holy book is held in Gurudwaras all over the country.  Langars (community feasts) are organized where people of all castes sit together to eat and sing hymns from the Guru Granth Sahib.

Dussehra is celebrated all over India to mark the homecoming of Lord Rama.  This festival is celebrated as a triumph of the good over the evil.  This festival is celebrated for nine consecutive days in praise of Lord Rma and his victory over the demon Ravana.  During these nine days, the Ramlila, an enactment is made on the various episodes of the life of Lord Rama and there is continuous chanting from the great epic Ramayana.  On the tenth day, the Lord Rama killed the demon Ravana, the abductor of his beloved Sita.  On Dussehra, larger than life effigies of Ravana, his brothers Meghnath and Kumbhkarna filled with different fire crackers are set alight to celebrate the victory of good over evil.  

Navaratri is the longest Hindu festival which is celebrated all over India.  This festival is celebrated for nine consecutive nights in praise of Lord Rama and Goddess Durga.  During these nine days and nights, there is continuous chanting from the great epic Ramayana and as well as various performances from the episodes of his life also known as Ramlila.  This festival is a combination of many concepts.  It is believed that Durga, the goddess of power and vitality, has nine forms called Navadurga and on each day she takes a new form, with an arsenal of weapons, to ride a lion and fight the demon Mahishsura.  Vijayadashmi or Dussehra, the 10th day, is celebrated with feasting and rejoicing as day of victory of Lord Rama over Ravana.  Lord Rama is said to have worshipped the Goddess, seeking her blessing in order to overpower the evil force of Ravana, the abductor of his beloved Sita.