Dussehra, Eid al-Adha and Karva Chauth
Wednesday the 24th was the culmination of Navratri, a 9-day long celebration of the aspects of the Hindu Goddess. One aspect of the goddess is offered puja (a prayer/worship ceremony) on each day of Navratri, and then on the last day, there’s a big celebration called Dussehra. Dussehra celebrates Rama’s victory over the evil rakshasa king, Ravana.
Adam was off on Activity Week during Dussehra, but I managed to sneak into the bazaar with a friend; we did some shopping, had dinner, and watched the celebratory procession. Winter has started to creep into Mussoorie – as shown by an afternoon hail storm on that Wednesday! We almost cancelled because neither of us had been prepared for wet, cold and hail, but we’re quite happy we didn’t.
The Saturday after Dussehra was Eid al-Adha, the “Greater Eid”; it celebrates Abraham/Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his firstborn at God’s command. This is one of the very uncommon times we see sheep (usually rams) in town, as they’re used for the traditional sacrifices. Someone I know was sacrificing three this Eid – in his bathroom! (All things considered – the easiest place to clean).
The last holiday that’s come in the these two weeks has been Karva Chauth, which I half-celebrated this year. I was given mehendi by a friend, as the tradition for Karva Chauth is for married women to decorate yourself, dress up, and fast until the moon is seen in the sky. Young unmarried women can do it as well – the goal is either to fast for your husband’s long life and health, or to get a good husband. I skipped breakfast as is my wont, and got dressed up — and then had to eat, because I had a migraine! But at least I dressed up. And got mehendi. And Adam, well – he got to have a tabla lesson, his very first. 😉