The Festive Glow of Deepavali
Deepavali, also known as Diwali, is a festival of lights celebrated by millions of people across the globe, particularly in India. It symbolizes the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance. This festival, deeply rooted in Hindu mythology, is not just about lighting lamps and bursting crackers; it's a celebration of life, its enjoyment, and a sense of goodness. This festival celebration is spread over 3 days.
In North India, Diwali is celebrated with great enthusiasm. Homes and streets are adorned with dazzling lights and colorful rangolis, and there is an air of joy and festivity everywhere.
Chausar: A Game Steeped in History
One unique tradition associated with Diwali in North India is the playing of Chausar, an ancient board game that has been part of Indian culture for centuries. This game is known for its appearance in the Indian epic Mahabharata, where it played a pivotal role in the story.
Chausar is akin to the modern-day Pachisi or Ludo but is more complex and strategic. It's played on a cross-shaped board, with each arm of the cross divided into three columns of eight squares. The center square, where the arms meet, serves as the starting and finishing position.
The Ritual of Playing Chausar on Deepavali Eve
On the eve of Deepavali, families in North India gather to play Chausar, continuing a tradition that has been passed down for generations. This ritual is belived to bring shubh labh on auspicious Lakshmi puja. In some places this ritual is belived to play the celebration of rama's return to ayodhya. This ritual is more than just playing a game; it's a way of connecting with one's heritage and history. The game is played with pawns called as goti and a pair of long dice traditionally made from wood, metal or ivory or a set of cowrie shells
The playing of Chausar is often accompanied by storytelling, where elders narrate tales from the Mahabharata, linking the game to its mythological significance. This not only entertains but also educates the younger generation about their rich cultural past.
The Significance of Chausar During Deepavali
Playing Chausar during Diwali has several symbolic significances. Firstly, it represents the triumph of dharma (righteousness) over adharma (unrighteousness), resonating with the core theme of Deepavali. It also symbolizes the role of fate and karma, as the roll of the dice in the game dictates the moves, akin to how life's events are often beyond one's control.
Moreover, the gathering of family and friends for a game of Chausar fosters a sense of community and togetherness, which is at the heart of Diwali celebrations.
The tradition of playing Chausar on the eve of Diwali in North India is a beautiful blend of festivity, culture, and historical significance. It's a reminder of the rich traditions that form the tapestry of Indian culture and the timeless values that festivals like Diwali celebrate. As the lights of Diwali illuminate the skies, the game of Chausar lights up conversations, bringing families closer in a bond of joy and shared heritage.