In north, the main attraction of this festival is the Ramleela, wherein enthusiastic young people take part in an enactment of the great mythological Ramayana, which ends on the tenth day.
On the tenth day, huge effigies of Ravana, Kumbhakaran and Meghnath are erected and burnt as a symbol of the victory of good over evil. One reason for this effigy burning is the onset of cold weather and infections that come along with the cold weather. Hence the effigy burning is seen as an act of purifying the air.
If you want to witness the sheer drama of Ramleela, Varansi is the place to be. Saint Tulsidas is believed to have started the tradition of Ramleela and the enactment is based on Ramcharitamanas, by the great saint-poet.
The Ramnagar Ram Leela (at Varanasi) has a historic and cultural significance. It dates back to the nineteenth century and saw the beginning under Maharaja of Benaras, Udit Narayan Singh. It is enacted in the traditional style and lasts for nearly a month. Hundreds of sadhus called the ‘Ramayanis’ come to watch and recite the Ramayana.
The town is transformed into a vast stage and many structures are built in different parts of the town. The audience moves with the performers to these locations like Ayodhya, Lanka, etc.
Purifying rituals like Chandi or Durga Homam are performed in temples.
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