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Dussehra celebration at Hindu Mandir of Lake county

LAKE COUNTY, IL – Hindu Mandir of Lake County celebrated navratri and dussehra (Vijayadashmi) 10-day long festival from 9th October to 17th October, 2018/ Every day hundreds of devotees participated in the special Pujas and Garbha. On Saturday, 20th October, more than 2000 devotees gathered to participate in the Mela and watch the spectacular Ravan Dahan.
The first day of Navaratri started with Kalash Stapan, Lord Ganesh and Gauri Pujan by Pandit Anil Joshi along with Pandit Ganesh Ji and other temple priests. For 9 days, special Alankarms were performed and discourse were delivered about the significance of different Goddess by Pt. Joshi Ji. On the eighth day, Kanya pujan was performed after Devi Ashtami Yagna by Shri Yogesh Pandey. Girls (seen as the nine avatars of Goddess Durga) were welcomed into the temple by first washing their feet and then tying moli (red thread) around their wrists. These girls seated in a line and given Prasad and gifts bags.
In the evenings, men and women dressed in their vibrant clothes gathered in the temple to play Garba and Dandiya (Gujarat’s folk dance).
On 20th October, a Ram Lila performance by more than 70 children was presented to the audience. This play lead by Smt. Anu Gupta depicted the historic tale of Rama defeating Ravana and winning back his wife Sita. The last day celebrations culminated with the impressive burning of Ravana’s effigies symbolizing his epic defeat at the hands of Lord Ram and the ultimate victory of good over evil. Devotees enjoyed this magnificent sight even in the midst of bad weather. This event was led by Shri, Madup Dhoan, Shri. Amit Gupta, and Dr, Harsh Kumar.
Temple’s new parking lot was inaugurated on this day and a grand Mela was organized by inviting local Indian and non-Indian businesses to put up their booths and create an awareness about their products, foods, clothes, artifacts, and jewelries. Temple food preparation was led by Shri. Kamal Gupta and Smt. Pramila Dutt.