India is a country full of vibrant holidays and festivals. Whether it’s a Hindu celebration, Islamic holiday, or regional festival, you will find that there is almost always something being celebrated in India.
A grand Hindu festival, Ganga Dussehra is celebrated on the banks of River Ganges, in the state of Uttarakhand. Ganga Dussehra or Gangavataran is commemorated to venerate Goddess Ganga and Lord- Shiva. As per the Hindu calendar, it will be observed on ‘Dashami Tithi’ (tenth day) of the bright half of the moon in the month of Jyaistha. This year the festival will be celebrated on May 31- June 2.
Ganga Dussehra Puja Timings 2020:
- Dashami Tithi Begins – 05:36 PM on May 31, 2020
- Dashami Tithi Ends – 02:57 PM on Jun 01, 2020
- Hasta Nakshatra Begins – 03:01 AM on Jun 01, 2020
- Hasta Nakshatra Ends – 01:03 AM on Jun 02, 2020
- Vyatipata Yoga Begins – 01:18 PM on Jun 01, 2020
- Vyatipata Yoga Ends – 09:53 AM on Jun 02, 2020
Significance of Ganga Dussehra:
Ganga Dussehra is celebrated to mark the arrival of river Gange on the Earth. Before descending on the Earth, Ganges was residing in the stoup of Lord Brahma. Hence, she has the purity of heaven. After descending on the Earth, the purity of heaven came along with her.
Dussehra stands for the ten auspicious Vedic calculations signifying Ganga’s ability to wash ten sins associated with thoughts, speech, and actions. The ten Vedic calculations include Jyeshtha month, Shukla Paksha, Tenth day, Thursday, Hasta Nakshatra, Siddha Yoga, Gar-Anand Yoga, and Moon in Virgo and Sun in Tauras. It is believed that if devotees offer prayers on this day, they attain salvation. The day is considered favorable for buying valuables, new vehicles, buying, or entering a new house. Devotees who recite the Ganga Stotra on this day, while standing in the water of Ganges, gets relieved from all the sins.
Rituals and Celebrations of Ganga Dussehra:
Devotees take a holy dip in the river with a belief that it will wash away their sins. It is majorly celebrated in the city of Haridwar.
Devotees perform Pitru Puja for their ancestors and worship the Ganges by taking the holy dip. On banks of Ganges, Arati is performed at twilight with leaf boats laden with flames, and flowers which are sailed in the river. While worshiping Goddess Ganga, all the articles should be in the count of ten. For example, ten types of flowers, fragrances, lamps, oblations, Betel leaves, and fruits. Donate ten different types of things. While taking a bath in Ganga, you should take ten dips.
Individuals ruminate over the banks of the River Ganges. At night, lights are glided and reverential melodies are sung. The earth is brought home as is the sacred water. The water can bless your home.
The Importance of Number 10
The name itself reveals the importance of ‘Dussehra’ which comes from ‘DUS’ means Ten and Hara which says– Defeat.
- These 10 days are devoted saintly to pay homage to the river Ganges.
- On this propitious day, devotees are advised to take a holy dip in Ganges sacred water to get rid of 10 wrong deeds.
- To attain Moksha or Salvation, one should worship Goddess Ganga with 10 traditional rituals and the customs on the Bank of the divine river, early in the morning.
- Offer 10 favorites of Goddess-Ganga including- flowers, Prasada (bhoga), leaf boats laden with flames and Milk etc. to Maa- Ganga to get blessings in immensity.
- Make sure to donate 10 edible ingredients(sweetmeats)to the poverty-stricken and needy people.
- It is recommended to observe fast at least for 10 hours on this day without consuming even water to impress- Goddess Ganges.
- 10 distinct sounds and hymns are produced while chanting Aartis and reciting Devi’s Mantras through Bells and Conches on the River Bank.
- A high-spirited and vigorous Ganga-Dusshera ceremony is observed in 10 chief States in India, where River-Ganges flows. These are:
- Himachal Pradesh
- Uttar Pradesh
- Madhya Pradesh
- West Bengal
- This holy observance embraces- establishing a magnificent artificial temple of 10 bamboo or wooden sticks right at the center of the River-Ganges or a water stream.
- It is considered to be very sacred and auspicious to worship Goddess-Ganga in this holy season, as it is one of the Tenth (10th)Supreme godheads praised in Hindu folklore.