Navratri Celebration in Different Parts of India – Part 2
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In the last post we’ve narrated about how Dusshera is celebrated in Kashmir and Himachal pradesh . In this post its about Punjab and Uttarkhand.
The Punjabis have a unique way of paying homage to Goddess Shakti. The Punjabis fast on the first seven days. They also organize a jagraata (keeping awake whole night by singing devotional songs dedicated to the Goddess). On the eighth day or Ashtami, the fast is broken by organizing abhandara for 9 young girls (Kanjika). A bhandara usually means a feast that includes puris and halawa chana. The girls are also gifted with a red chunri. The ninth day is then called Navami which means literally the ninth day of this holy and pious period. On both the days people ceremonially wash girl’s feet, worship them and then offer food to the “girl-goddesses” giving them the traditional puri, halwa and chana to eat, along with bangles and the red chunnis to wear with a token amount of money as shagun.
In the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand, the Dusshera festival starts with the performance of Ramlila, which is unique as it is based on the musical rendering of the katha or story of Lord Rama. It is based on the theatrical traditions set by Uday Shankar during his stay in Almora; these traditions were further enriched by Brijendra Lal Sah and Mohan Upreti. Known as the Almora or Kumaon style, Ramlila has been recognised by UNESCO in its 2008 report as one of the representative styles of Ramlila in India.
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