Today is Dussehra or Vijayadashami, the tenth day of Navratri, and is one of the most important Hindu festivals. The day celebrates the victory of good over evil, although the deities, rituals, and stories that are associated with the holiday are different in different parts of South Asia and in the diaspora. For example, Dussehra marks to Lord Rama’s victory over the ten-headed demon king Ravana and the victory of Goddess Durga over the demon Mahishasur.
So, off I went this evening to offer my prayers to Durga, as I usually do on this day each year. My mother-in-law grew up, partly, in Kolkata, and this regional celebration has been incorporated in our family’s religious practices.
Durga Puja is the biggest, most important religious festival for Bengali-Hindus. Apparently, the Bengali Association Singapore‘s six-day celebration is the largest outside Kolkata! If you are keen on seeing the magnificent idol (against the backdrop of Garden by the Bay’s famed “Supertrees”), the celebration continues until Monday, October 26 on the grounds along Race Course Road, not far from Little India MRT Station.
A second Durga Puja is being celebrated by Bengali Community (Singapore) on the grounds near Choa Chu Kang MRT; that puja will continue until Friday, October 23.