23rd Dushahra Festival held in Edison, New Jersey

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The 30 feet effigy of Ravana was created by Krishna Singhal of Long Island, who took three months to construct it for the Oct. 9, 2021 Dussehra festival in Lake Papaianni Park in New Jersey. Photos: Indo-American Festivals

Some 8,000 to 10,000 people enjoyed the 23rd Dushahra (Dussehra) Festival Oct. 9, 2021 at Lake Papaianni  Park in Edison, New Jersey, according to organizers. People streamed in and out of the grounds from 1 pm to 8:30 pm when the festival culminated with the burning of Ravan’s effigy.

Special guests and organizers on stage at the 23rd Dushahra Festival held in Lake Papaianni Park, N.J. Oct. 9, 2021. Photo: Indo American Festivals

A festive atmosphere prevailed with at least 35 stalls selling Indian delicacies as well as clothing, jewelry, and a host of other products.  Organized by Indo-American Festivals, the event was also supported by the Middlesex County Cultural and Arts Trust Fund. 1 pm to 8 pm.

Seventy artists took part in performing the Ram Leela story choreographed by Varsha Naik at the Oct. 9, 2021, Dushahra Festival organized by Indo American Festivals, held at Papaianni Park, N.J. Photo: Indo American Festivals

Starting with the ceremonial lamp-lighting ceremony where local high-profile guests were in attendance, the festival included a cultural program where dance schools of the area as well as solo artists performed.

A two-hour segment on the story behind the Ram Leela was performed by some 70 artists. It was choreographed by well-known artist Varsha Naik.

Seventy artists took part in performing the Ram Leela story choreographed by Varsha Naik at the Oct. 9, 2021, Dushahra Festival organized by Indo American Festivals, held at Papaianni Park, N.J. Photo: Indo American Festivals

The effigy of Ravan was 30 feet high and built by Krishna Gopal Singhal, a local artist from Long Island who spent three months creating the massive statue, organizers told Desi Talk.

“Usually, we have more than 15,000 people, but this time due to the pandemic, only 8,000-10,000 people came and went at the festival,” Raj Mittal of Indo-American Festivals, told Desi Talk.

Numerous local VIPs and elected officials attended the event, including Chief Guest Gulshan Chhabra.

 

 

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