The second half of the year is a busy time for those who follow the Hindu festivity calendar. Festivals like Navratri, Dussehra, and Diwali all fall within weeks of each other. It is also a fun time for your kids, with so many celebrations and so many things to do. Navratri starts on October 1, 2016 and will continue till October 10, 2016. Dussehra or Vijayadashami is celebrated on October 11, 2016.
So, instead of just letting them celebrate these festivals as just another holiday, why not let them know the history behind the celebrations as well as introduce some fun activities? If you would like to know more about navaratri for kids or are looking for some information on dussehra for kids, two festivals that fall one after the other, you should consider reading this post.
Navratri For Kids – Popular Myths:
Navratri is an Indian festival celebrated by those who follow the Hindu tradition, even though anyone can enjoy the festivities and celebrations. Durga Puja and Navratri festival is celebrated by worshiping Goddess Durga and her nine different avatars, hence the name Navratri, ‘nav’ meaning nine and ‘ratri’ meaning night.
Chandra Darshan, Kumari/Brahmacharini Puja, Sindoor Tritiya, Sandhi Puja, Chandi Path, Lalitha Vrat, Kalaratri Puja, Mahagauri Puja, Ayudha Puja and Navami Homa are rituals and events which are observed during nine days Navratri.
For all the nine days that the festival is celebrated, one form of goddess Durga is worshipped each day, and a color is chosen for each day. Those who religiously follow the festival dress in the color of the day. There are different historical legends in different parts of India, so here is a look:
1. According To The Mythology Of Eastern India:
Uma was the daughter of Daksha, who was the king of the Himalaya. She was known for her beauty and was a virtuous girl. Ever since she was a child, Uma wanted to marry Shiva and had been trying to worship him to please him and make him agree. When Shiva came to tell Daksha that he would marry Uma, her father was quite upset and did not want his daughter to marry him. He told his daughter and son-in-law that he would not think of them as a family anymore.
One day Daksha was performing a special yagna but did not invite Uma and Shiva, which angered Uma. She jumped into the fire and came to be known as ‘Sati.’ However, she was reborn again and married Shiva, after which her father accepted them both. Ever since then, she comes home every year to her parents during Navratri.
[ Read: Mythological Stories For Kids ]
2. According To The Mythology Of North India:
The demon Mahisasura worshipped Shiva and became immortal. He started killing people and wanted to rule over all the gods, as he thought no one would be able to kill him anymore. The gods asked Shiva for help and to save the world from Mahasisura’s evil behavior. Shiva united with Vishnu and Brahma to create a female warrior goddess known as Durga. When Mahisasura saw Durga, he fell in love with her beauty and asked to marry her. She agreed on the condition that he would have to defeat her in a battle. Mahasisura was sure he would win, so the battle continued for nine nights and on the last night, she beheaded him. The nine nights are celebrated as part of the Navratri festival.
3. The Mythology Behind Dussehra:
Dussehra is another very popular festival celebrated in India, which is celebrated on the tenth day of the celebrations of Navratri commence. While some parts of India celebrate it to mark goddess Durga’s victory over Mahisasura, other parts celebrate it as Ram’s win over Ravana.
[ Read: Fun Activities For Kids ]
4. The Mythology of Rama And Ravana:
Dussehra is mostly about the victory of good over evil. Ravana had abducted Rama’s wife Sita, after which Rama, with his brother Lakshman and follower Hanuman, waged war against Ravana to bring Seeta back. Rama worshipped goddess Durga to get her blessings and killed Ravana. The day is celebrated as Dussehra.
[Read: Diwali Activities for Kids]
5. Kids Crossword Puzzle For Navratri And Dussehra:
Here is a fun crossword puzzle activity you can create for your kids to play that uses information from both the festivals. This is one of the best navratri activities for kids:
- Navratri finishes on this day
- Navratri is celebrated for how many days
- The festival that goes on for nine nights
- The demon whose death marks Navratri
- A demon whose death marks Dussehra
- The festival that comes right after Navratri
Share these mythological Navratri stories with your kid to make them understand more about the festivals they celebrate and also share this fun crossword puzzle activities to make it more interesting.
How do you celebrate these Navratri and Dussehra festivals with your kids and which mythology do you believe as part of your culture? Do share your stories here.