Dussehra Festival: Dussehra is a major Hindu festival that celebrates the victory of good over evil. It is also known as Vijayadashami, which means the tenth day of victory. It falls on the tenth day of the Hindu month of Ashvin, which usually corresponds to September or October in the Gregorian calendar.
There are different legends associated with Dussehra. One of them is based on the epic Ramayana, which narrates how Lord Rama, an avatar of Vishnu, defeated the ten-headed demon king Ravana, who had abducted Rama’s wife Sita.
Rama and his army of monkeys and bears built a bridge across the ocean to reach Lanka, where Ravana ruled. After a fierce battle, Rama killed Ravana with his divine arrow and rescued Sita. The day of Rama’s victory is celebrated as Dussehra.
Another legend is based on the goddess Durga, who is worshipped as the supreme power of the universe. According to this legend, Durga fought a nine-day war against the demon Mahishasura, who had obtained a boon that he could not be killed by any man or god.
Durga, being a woman, was able to slay him on the tenth day with her trident. The nine days of Durga’s battle are celebrated as Navratri, and the tenth day of her victory is celebrated as Dussehra.
Dussehra is celebrated in different ways across India. Some of the common customs are:
- Burning effigies of Ravana, his brother Kumbhakarna and his son Meghnad in public places. This symbolizes the destruction of evil and the triumph of truth.
- Performing Ramlila, a theatrical enactment of scenes from the Ramayana. This is done by professional or amateur actors in various languages and styles.
- Immersing idols of Durga in rivers or lakes after worshipping her for nine days. This signifies her return to her heavenly abode after defeating Mahishasura.
- Exchanging gifts and sweets with friends and relatives. This expresses gratitude and joy for the blessings of life.
- Applying sindoor (vermilion) on each other’s forehead as a mark of respect and friendship. This is especially done by married women who pray for their husbands’ long lives.
- Visiting temples and offering prayers to various gods and goddesses. This shows devotion and gratitude for their protection and guidance.
Dussehra is a festival that inspires people to overcome their vices and follow the path of righteousness. It also reminds them of their cultural heritage and values. It is a time to celebrate life and its goodness with joy and enthusiasm.
I hope this information was helpful to you. If you want to know more about Dussehra, you can check out these links: