All over India, Hindus have just been celebrating one of their annual festivals. In eastern?
All over India, Hindus have just been celebrating one of their annual festivals. In eastern India, it is called Durga Puja; in the rest of the country, Dussehra. It takes place when the rise harvest has been gathered in, and symbolises the triumph of good over evil.
SYNOPSIS: The narrow streets of Old Delhi were packed with people who had come to see the pageantry. They were watching scenes from the epic Ramayana, enacted on a procession of floats. This was the culmination of ten days of celebrations.
On the one hand, the embodiment of evil, the demon Ravana. He has a mighty spear, with which he seeks to terrorise the people. And beside him is his victim, the beautiful Sita, the kidnapped bride of the Lord Rama.
Ranged against him, the forces of good; Rama, his brother lakshman and the monkey-god Hanuman.
Giant effigies of the villains--Ravana, his brother, Kumbhakarna, and his son, Meghnath--are set up in the Dussehra ground ready for the grand finale; a battle between the two sides. Rama and his allies set out to rescue Sita and overcome their enemies. According to legend, Rama owed his victory to a fire-tipped shaft which he hurled at his adversary and destroyed him.
And so it is depicted. First, a spectacular display of fireworks. The effigies of Ravana and his fellow villains are themselves stuffed with fireworks. These are lit, and the demons explode in a blaze of colour. To the delight of the watching crowd, evil is destroyed and good has triumphed for another year.