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Navratri, Dussehra Celebrations and their Relation with Agriculture

Vijayadashami or Dussehra, actually marks two celebrations in India, first is the victory of Rama over Ravana, and second is the victory of goddess Durga over the demon Mahishasura. Dussehra has an important association with Agricultural activities as well.

Abhijeet Banerjee
Durga Idol
Durga Idol

In India, the festive season begins in October. The monsoon rains had eased in most areas by this time, and the festival season is in full flow. The Navaratri and Dussehra festivals are the most important holidays, with energy-filled regional celebrations and events that vary from state to state.

Vijayadashami or Dussehra, actually marks two celebrations in India, first is the victory of Rama over Ravana, and the second is the victory of goddess Durga over the demon Mahishasura. Dussehra is a ten-day-long celebration period, celebrated across the nation, and symbolizes the triumph of good over evil.

Navaratri is a nine-night celebration dedicated to the Mother Goddess, or Shakti, in all of her forms, including Durga, Lakshmi, and Saraswati. Worship and fasting are prominent elements during the day, although feasting, outings, and enjoyment can be observed at night. Following Navaratri, effigies of Ravana are burned to commemorate the anniversary, as is "Ramlilas" during the Dussehra celebration, and numerous Vedic interpretations of the Ramayana are staged.

Dussehra is very closely associated with agricultural operations. It often denotes the conclusion of the monsoon season and the beginning of the cooler winter season. Farmers often begin harvesting the Kharif crop after Dussehra and prepare to plant the Rabi crop.

Since farmers harvest the Kharif crop after  Dussehra, daily arrivals in mandis of the country normally increase significantly during this period. Farmers bring crops like Guar, Cotton, Soybean, Rice, Maize, etc from their fields and try to bargain a better price for their produce.  

The trading environment is quite healthy for traders and stockists during this period since the demand for Agriculture commodities is quite strong from the retail markets. Dussehra also implies a shift in the season as it marks the onset of winter, season after summer and monsoons. 

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