Fall is here, and that means Hindus officially kick off the festivals Navratri, Dusshera, and Diwali (pumpkin spice lattes optional!)
First up is Navratri/Dusshera - where we celebrate the triumph of good vs evil.
First, during 9 days and 9 nights, we celebrate the goddess Durga's victory over a bad guy who was essentially immortal, Mahishasura. With the head of a water buffalo, considered one of the strongest animals in India, and the body of an undefeated warrior, you'd think he would use his amazing strength and intelligence to do good, right? But no, he chose to conquer kingdoms and create unhappiness wherever he went. Durga keeps giving him chances to repent, and say sorry for making terrible choices. She says hey dude, you can turn it around - it's never too late to start making good choices. He did not listen! Well, on the ninth night, he got his consequences and was defeated by Durga. A wonderful form of the goddess is worshipped each night for nine nights.
Another story is in one of India's greatest epic poems, the Ramayana. It's about how Rama, a legendary warrior who was known as much for his kindness as he was for his strength, defeated one of the greatest kings of ancient times, Ravana. Now, Ravana wasn't always bad. He studied hard and learned so much - he was also a good king! But even good people can make bad choices. And, by kidnapping Rama's wife Sita - Ravana's bad choice was epically bad. Rama and Ravana fight an epic battle where Rama defeated Ravana and got back Sita. This holiday is called Dusshera. Of course, this is a child-friendly version, and it is ONE of several versions!
And, last but not least, Fall Festival Season comes to a close with the epic Diwali, the Festival of Lights. Many folks celebrate the return of Rama and Sita to their beloved kingdom (they were exiled for many years, during which they fought Ravana). Others celebrate the victory of Satyabhama, Krishna's wife, who was a fierce warrior. When Narakasura, a total bad dude, was wreaking havoc, she fought and defeated him.
Are you ready to get into the festival fun? Check out Tulsie's Navratri/Dusshera Activity Book here!
Planning on talking about Diwali in your classroom? Be prepared to wow the class with Tulsie's Diwali Classroom Kits available here.