World ? Asia ? India ? Mumbai

Dussehra in Mumbai

Oct 2009 (annual)
Hours: Sunset
Cost: Free
Dussehra is one of the most significant Hindu festivals, celebrated with enthusiasm throughout the length and breadth of the sub-continent. It re-evokes the victory of the god Rama over the demon-king Ravana, who had been foolish enough to abduct his wife, Sita.
In Mumbai the festival is celebrated by the burning of private effigies in people's back gardens (rather like Guy Fawkes celebrations in England), accompanied by far more elaborate bonfires in public places such as Chowpatty beach and the Shivaji Park.

Sometimes Ravanna's entire family is lined up in menacing rows, huge models made of wood and brightly-coloured flotsam and jetsam, held up by ropes. They are all carefully stacked with fireworks, which are let off to make a dazzling, chaotic and somewhat dangerous pyrotechnic display. All the demons are then burnt, making fires that light up the night sky and burn through the city fog.

Without a doubt this festival provides some of the most fun that the city sees each year.

Rama is perhaps the most important of the triumvirate of leading Hindu gods. He represents the Creator, the force of creation, the absolute - possibly the closest to the Christian notion of "god" of any of the Hindu deities.
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