In South India Dusara is celebrated with exhibition of toys in homes! It is exciting time for all the children during this season! Toy festival is celebrated under different names in various parts of South India. It is "Bombe habba" in Karnataka, "Bommala Koluvu" in Andhra Pradesh and Golu or Kolu in Tamil Nadu.
Story behind Toy festival:
The festival has different origins in different parts of India essentially, the celebration of victory of Gods or Goddesses over evil Demons. To respect the self-sacrifice of these deities during the festival days, Hindus revere morities, which are small statues in the shape of particular gods and goddesses. Another take on this festival is a connection with agricultural economy. It is said that in order to encourage dredging and de-silting of irrigation canals and riverbeds the toy festival was aimed at providing demand for the clay material to make toys got from such activities. Another example is the Bengali tradition of using clay that has been tread upon by the most beautiful girl in the area to construct a doll of the Goddess Kali, the belief being that this would be the best way to approximate the perfect features of the Goddess. The 9 day festivities end with goodies being distributed on the last day. During independence and in modern times, the festival changed to signify unity & integrity needed in our society.
The goodies part of festival: People come to visit homes to see the Toy decorations, usually children are given small gifts, sweets in the form of 'prasad', similar to other festivals like Halloween celebrated elsewhere in the world!
We can use this occassion in decorating the toys using different themes that have an affect in our every day life and all aspects in our society – Waste management, lowering pollution, fighting corruption…the list can go on & on… and making all of us aware of a clean & healthier life, especially to our little ones & their tiny tots.
India has so many fascinating festivals - Dasara is one of the most unanimous festivals celebrated across all parts of the country spreading festivity and happiness all around!