Dusshera is celebrated with great pomp and show in all parts of India. It is a 10-day celebration of worship, rituals, and celebrations all across India. Dasara has two aspects – Navaratri the Nine nights and culmination in Vijayadashami. The rituals vary across regions but the enthusiasm and energy are similar.
The festival of Dussehra is celebrated in the honor of Lord Rama in north and west parts of India. India’s diverse people celebrate Dussehra in innumerable ways. For nine days people perform fast along with religious rites for purification. However, on the tenth day, all the bad thoughts, malice, hatred, greed and anger are burnt through the physical burning of Ravana’s effigy. The festival of Dussehra not only signifies the victory of good over evil but also symbolizes optimism, courage, and purity of one’s heart. In South India, Dussehra celebrations are held with pomp and splendor. Here each of the nine days is celebrated in honor of the Devis. Homes flaunt Golu dolls, intricate Kolams (Rangolis), sparkling lamps, and traditionally dressed women and children chanting and singing.
Children love the idea of a vacation from school, dressing up in their traditional best, relishing their favourite sweets, taking pride in showing off the décor to the guests, and above all dancing to the tunes of Dandiya and Garba with family and friends. Here are some ways to make Dusshera even more exciting for kids!
Exciting and engaging Make and Do Dussehra Activities for Children
Jazz up the Garba Pot (Mataki or Kalash)
Colorful Garba pots light up the prayers. Ready-made pots are mostly very expensive or not of your choice. Engage your kids in decorating the Garba pot at home with vibrant paints, attractive ribbons, mirrors and designer laces, just the way you like. Here is a wonderful idea from HobbyIdeas.
This is another easy to do idea:
Embellish the Dandiya sticks
Dandiya sticks are the stars of any Dandiya night or Raas Garba event. Now you can grab eyeballs while grooving with not just your steps, but also your dandiyas! Make the dandiya that suits your imagination – LED Dandiyas, Puppet Dandiyas, Silver Dandiyas! Kids love to flaunt their self-decorated Dandiya sticks in front of their friends. Let your little one use colorful ribbons, printed tapes, and sequins to decorate Dandiya sticks that match up with their costumes. Get creative and embellish the dandiyas to make them attractive! Here are some ideas for you!
How about making these charming puppet Dandiya sticks! Or even better make your own child-friendly Dandiya sticks!
Light up your home and the prayer hall
Upcycle the used plastic bottles and scrapped CDs to create dazzling candle and diya stands. Lay hands on old ribbons, laces, colorful stones to illuminate the candle stand. Place diyas or candles on these fancy stands to gleam up your home or your worship area. Here is a beautiful idea to make a floating diya stand.
Or better still make your own lamp like this.
Make decorative Toranams
Give your homes the festive look by decorating the doorways with these welcoming torans! Here is an idea to make a quick and easy flower shape toranam with mango leaves and fresh flowers.
Or make these easy and reusable woolen ones:
Make colorful Rangoli
Add color to the floor with lovely rangoli’s. These are super easy and creative!
Or try something exciting like this Rangoli on water!!
Or try rangoli with different materials
Make fragrant welcome flower bowls
No space or time for rangoli? Try these easy flower bowls!
Make your own jewellery
Make this trendy jewellery to wear for the dandiya night!
Cook traditional sweets and dishes
India’s celebrations and ceremonies involve loads of sweets! They form an integral part of all festivities. Relish the favorite sweets of your little one or make some traditional ones at home with your kid. Do not miss on appreciating your child as he plates the sweets and serves to the guests. Try this easy Apple burfi with your kids!
Make your own dolls for the Golu
Little dolls are decorated traditionally and set up in homes during nine days of Navratri. Shape up your beautiful dolls and set it up in your Golu at home or gift it to your loved ones to light up their Dusshera.
Reduce the Ravana to ashes
It is a popular custom to burn the Ravana idol with crackers on the eve of Dusshera in an open space to illustrate the victory of good over evil. You can also make your own little Ravana with tissue paper roll and burn it. Ensure that you take all required safety precautions!
Wrap up some handmade gifts
Instead of spending a ton on regular gifts, you can make handmade gifts for your friends and relatives and also keep your budget on track. You can create CD coasters, Dusshera Golu dolls, weave a paper basket, or create a miniature garden. Trace few traditional symbols like Om, Trishul or Diyas on the gifts to keep up the festive spirit. Remember to wrap in simple handmade papers or upcycled newspapers!
Sow a sapling
In many parts of India, Dussehra is a beginning of harvest season. Go green and plant a tree with your kids. You can decorate the flower pots with traditional themes and even transform the broken pots into the “in vogue” miniature gardens.
Dussehra themed Art and Crafts
Try out art and craft activities on mythological characters from Dussehra like Durga, Ravana, Rama etc. You can also do some elephant crafts since elephants are an integral part of the Mysore Dasara Festival.
- Listen to or watch stories of Dussehra
You can read books or narrate stories related to Dussehra. Or watch videos! Here are a few good ones!
This video explains the story of Durga and Vijayadashami with colourful animation.
After the story telling session, you can make a Dusshera theme poster or color the pictures of your favourite mythological characters. Or better still, make one of the many DIY Dussehra activities!