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During the Navaratri festival people would assemble in those grounds and burn the effigies of Ravana, marking his defeat and the victory of good over evil.
Your major problem in your life is your animal nature.
It is your inner animal (pasu), which prevents you from knowing the truth of yourself (pati).
If you visit North India, in some towns and villages you will see wide open grounds, mostly in the outskirts, where they install large statues of Ravana.
They are usually fierce looking statues, in a battle-ready stance, with one or ten heads, piercing eyes, prominent whiskers, holding a large, curved sword in one hand.
Over time people in different parts of the country might have adapted it into their local cultures by associating ancient myths and legends to it and introducing new practices to suit their local needs.
Another reason could be that people in different parts of India used to worship local devis or goddesses who were eventually elevated or identified as the aspects of the Goddess. It is said that the goddess will be pleased by the devotional worship and will materially help you, resolving your problems and suffering.It is responsible for your desires, attachments (pasas) bondage, and delusion (moha).The goddess helps you to subdue the animal (asura) in you and cultivate the higher qualities of compassion, wisdom and sameness and ascend through the nine doors of consciousness into the highest heaven.Each day people recite verses or passages from the Ramayana, especially the Ramacharitmanas of Tulsidas, or listen to them, or watch plays that depict incidents from the life of Rama.After celebrating the festival for nine days, on the tenth day, called Vijayadasami (the tenth day of victory) effigies of Ravana, his son Meghanatha and his brother Kumbhkarna are burnt amidst a lot of fanfare.Whether it is Diwali, Navaratri or Sankranti, people in different parts of India worship different deities and associate different legends to each festival.While it is difficult to know exactly what happened in the remote past, one probable reason could be that the nine night festival was originally associated with the fertility cults of prehistoric times in the Indian subcontinent.When I asked him for reasons, he told me that it was because when people started eating regular food after fasting for nine days, they would experience problems with digestion.It is amazing that despite such inconveniences, year after year during the Navaratri festival people observe complete fasting.Hindu tradition recognizes five different Navaratris celebrated each year at different times, and on each occasion a different aspect of the Goddess is worshipped.Of them Mahanavarati or Sharad Navaratri is the most important, which is celebrated during the month of Sharad (September - October).