India is a land of festivals. And the festivals here are not just religious in nature but they are linked to life and celebration. Among the myriads of festivals celebrated in this country, Ganga Dussehra holds a lot of importance.
Date And Tithi Of Ganga Dussehra Festival
Ganga Dussehra falls on the 10th Day (Dashami Tithi) of Waxing Moon (Shukla Paksha) in the month of Jyeshtha month as per Hindu calendar. So, it usually falls in the month of May or June. In 2019, Ganga Dussehra will fall on 12th June. Ganga Dussehra is also called Gangavataran, which means the ‘descent of Ganga’. In most of the years, Ganga Dussehra is celebrated one day before Nirjala Ekadashi. But sometimes Ganga Dussehra and Nirjala Ekadashi fall on the same day.
Legend Behind The Celebration
The festival Ganga Dussehra is dedicated to the Goddess Ganga and it is believed that Ganga descended to Earth on this day. She descended to accomplish her mission to free the cursed souls of Bhagirath’s ancestors. As per the tradition, before coming to Earth, Goddess Ganga was living in the kamandal of Lord Brahma. When Ganga descended to Earth, she also brought the purity of heaven to Earth.
The States & Regions Where Ganga Dussehra Is Celebrated
The festival of Ganga Dussehra is observed by Hindus mostly in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Bihar, and West Bengal, where the river Ganga flows. Haridwar, Varanasi, Garhmukteshwar, Rishikesh, Allahabad, and Patna are the major locations of the celebrations. Here the devotees gather at the banks of the Ganges and perform aartis (a religious ritual in which a light lamp is moved clockwise circularly in front of a deity as a part of prayer) to the river.
The Significance Of Ganga Dussehra Festival
It is believed that taking a dip in the river on this day can bring the devotee to a state of purification and also heal any physical ailments he may have. In Sanskrit, dasha means ten and hara means destroy; thus bathing in the river during these ten days is believed to rid the person of the ten sins or, alternatively, the ten lifetimes of sins.
Worship Of Yamuna
On the same day, the river Yamuna is also worshipped and kite-flying events are organized. Devotees take a holy dip in the Yamuna at places like Mathura, Vrindavan, and Bateshwar, and give offerings of watermelon and cucumber. They distribute drinks such as lassi, sharbat and shikanji.
With Ganesha's Grace,
The GaneshaSpeaks.com Team