Dussehra is sporting a more somber look this year, thanks to the ongoing pandemic. Let’s find out how much the cities otherwise globally famous for such celebrations, have mellowed down in 2020. By Amitha Ameen
October usually means people gathering in open spaces across the country and celebrating the festivities of Dussehra or Vijayadashami complete with Dandiya, Ramlila, and plenty of sweets all with great enthusiasm and vigor. But this year, the usually obvious cheer and pomp are missing, thanks to COVID-19.
Kullu in Himachal Pradesh celebrates Dussehra in the most extravagant manner possible, so much so, that it even made to the Guinness Book of World Records in 2016 for the largest Nati dance having 9,892 dancers together. But this year, the entire valley is seen sporting a more gloomy ambiance compared to the previous years.
Due to the COVID-19 risk, large groups of people have been dissuaded from gathering at public places in the valley similar to other places in the country. Compared to last year’s 331 deities that were invited, this year it has been reduced to only seven, as a part of the rituals.
But it’s not just Kullu that is celebrating a more low-key Dussehra this year, other places that usually have large and elaborate festivals like Mysore, Kolkata, and Varanasi, are doing it too. Although the celebrations may not be the same as previous years, the rituals and other proceedings including the Ramlila performances are being live streamed for people to enjoy safely from the comfort of their home.