More than a million people - nearly half Delhi's population - watched the burning of gigantic effigies, Oct. 11 -- a spectacular climax to the ten-day Dussehra Festival - an age-old ritual celebrated throughout India to symbolize the triumph of good over evil.
GV The three effigies
LV Procession through street
SV Float of the Demon King
SV Boy watches
SCU Demon King's attendants
LV Float of Hindu Goddess
LV Rama and Lakshman fight in chariot
LV Procession in street
LV Firework display
LV Effigy burns, falls to ground
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Background: More than a million people - nearly half Delhi's population - watched the burning of gigantic effigies, Oct. 11 -- a spectacular climax to the ten-day Dussehra Festival - an age-old ritual celebrated throughout India to symbolize the triumph of good over evil.
From nearby villages, people poured into Delhi to join crowds cheering the parade of floats. Lord Rama (representing good); his followers; the Demond King Ravana and his associates; were pulled through the streets in their respective chariots.
Highlight of the celebrations came at sunset with the burning of the effigies in Ramlila Park, preceded by a firework display. Indian President Rajendra Prasad, Cabinet Ministers, foreign diplomats, and high-ranking civil and military officers were among crowds watching the effigies shoot up in flames.
In a speech to the people, President Prasad observed that Lord Rama symbolized the spirit of India's life through her people. It was this spirit that had sustained the country through centuries. He called upon everyone to imbibe the qualities of Rama in their day-to-day lives. "It is only when we have built up a character in keeping with the ideal of righteousness set by him, that we shall be able to make our country great".
The Festival was observed similarly throughout India. Legend has it that Lord Rama triumphed over Ravana by rescuing his wife, Site, after a bitter fight, from the demon king's clutches. Throughout the ages, the Hindus have celebrated Rama's triumph.