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Navratri, Dussehra Celebrations and their Relation with Agriculture

Abhijeet Banerjee
Abhijeet Banerjee

Come October, and an enthusiastic time begins in India. The monsoon rain has eased in most places till this period and the festival season is in full swing. The Pre-dominant holidays are for the Navaratri and Dussehra festivals, which includes energy-filled regional celebrations and events that vary from state to state.  

Vijayadashami or Dussehra, actually marks two celebrations in India, first is the victory of Rama over Ravana, and second is the victory of goddess Durga over the demon Mahishasura. Dussehra is a ten-day-long celebration period, celebrated across nation, and symbolizes the triumph of good over evil. Navaratri is a nine-night festival which in celebrated in the name of Mother Goddess, or Shakti, in all her incarnations, including Durga, Lakshmi, and Saraswati. During the daytime, Worship and fasting are a typical feature but feasting, outing and fun can be observed during the nights. Following Navaratri, effigies of Ravana being are burned to honor the occasion and “Ramlilas”, during the Dussehra occasion, and various Vedic versions of the Ramayana are being played on stages. 

Dussehra has an important association with Agricultural activities as well. It generally signifies the end of the monsoon season and start of the cooler winter season. After Dussehra, farmers generally begin their Kharif crop harvest and prepare for planting the Rabi crop. Since farmers harvest the Kharif crop after  Dussehra, daily arrivals in mandis of the country normally increases significantly during this period. Farmers bring crops like Guar, Cotton, Soybean, Rice, Maize etc from their fields and try to bargain better price for their produce. The trade environment is quite healthy for traders and stockists during this period since demand for Agriculture commodities are quite strong from the retail markets. Dussehra also implies a shift in season as it marks the onset of winter, season after summer and monsoons.  

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