A "Golden" tradition of dassera........
On this day of Vijayadashmi (10th day of Dassera) the most distinct tradition is of exchanging the leaves of Apte Tree (aptyachi pane) with all elders n young ones n seek their blessings for future endevours to reach successful heights.
Aptyachi pane are considered to be gold coins or rather gold leaves. There's a beautiful history behind this tradition. Kautsa,a young brahmin, and a disciple of Rishi Varatantu he insisted that his guru accepted guru dakshina. Finally, Varatantu asked for a dakshina of 14 crore gold coins, one crore for each of the sciences he had taught. Kausta approached king Raghu,an ancestor of Ram, famous for his generosity. However, Raghu did not have gold coins to give as he had just given it to all Brahmins after performing the Vishvajit sactrifice. Raghu then asked Indra for the gold coins, who in turn ordered Kuber, the god of wealth, to rain gold coins on the Apte trees in Raghu's kingdom, Ayodhya. Kautsa gave those gold coins to Varatantu and distributed the rest to the people of Ayodhya. This happened on the Dassera day and even today we follow the tradition of looting the Apte tree and exchange the leaves among each other as sona.
And that is why while giving the leaves we say "Soona Ghya Aani Soonya Sarkha Waga" (take the gold and be like gold.)
There are so many traditions attached to this festival which lasts for good long 10 days that one can sit and compile a book on it and i would love to do so. It is the best example of exhibiting the diversity on Indian culture as the fesival is celebrated in a variety of manner all through the country.
Every single tradition teaches us a lesson, inculcates in us the values of our own rich Indian culture.
Be proud of your Indianess.