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    All These Colors Tour: India Part 41

    Wednesday, October 24, 2012
    Delhi, India

    A 50-foot tall effigy of Ravana at a Dussehra festival in Paharganj, Delhi, India.

    I woke up today with another bad cold. That’s the third or fourth one I’ve caught in the past four months of this trip, which is crazy, because I usually only catch one cold per year. So, I just holed up in my room all day, occasionally sneezing and coughing, too fatigued to go out and walk around. As dinnertime arrived, I went up to the rooftop cafe, where I heard fireworks occasionally going off around town. I asked the waiter about it, and he told me there was a festival called Dussehra going on down the street and that this was the final night. Even though I was way too tired, I forced myself to get dressed and wearily walked down there. A large crowd of several hundred massed on the street out in front of a fenced-off area around a small Hindu temple. Inside the gates, some kind of performance was going on, complete with actors in makeup and costumes, and a 50 foot tall effigy of Ravana, the primary antagonist in the Hindu epic, the Ramayana.

    A 50-foot tall effigy of Ravana at a Dussehra festival in Paharganj, Delhi, India.

    “In the months of Ashwin and Kartik, Hindus observe Dussehra, a 10-day ceremony of fasting, rituals and celebrations to honor the triumph of Lord Rama over Demon Ravana. Dussehra also symbolizes the triumph of warrior Goddess Durga over the buffalo demon Mahishasura. Thus, it is a celebration of the victory of good over evil. The ceremony starts with Navratri and ends on the tenth day with Dussehra. Navratri and Dussehra are celebrated throughout the country at the same time, with varying rituals, but with great enthusiasm and energy, as it marks the end of scorching Summer and the start of Winter.”–Festivals of India. After I snapped a few photos and shot a couple of video clips, I had to head back to the hotel, because I was feeling quite weak with no energy at all, which is a shame, because I learned later that the 50-foot tall Ravana effigy was eventually set ablaze, and I missed it. Dang!

    Neon hotel signs rule Arakashan Road in Paharganj, Delhi, India.

    Roll over photos for captions.
    Words and photos ©2012 Arcane Candy.

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