Dussehra is a Hindu festival. It is celebrated at the end of Navratri every year. Dussehra is also known as vijayadashami. It marks the end Ramlila and remembers the victory of Ram over Raavan. In some regions it marks the finish of Durga Pooja, remembers the victory of goddess Durga over the demon Mahishasur.
Why we celebrate dussehra?
Ravana plays vital role in the Ramayana. Ravana had a sister whose name was Shoorpanakha. She fell in love with the Rama and Lakshamana and desperately wanted to marry one of them. Lakshamana refused to marry her and Rama could not marry her because he was already married to Sita. Shoorpanakha tried to kill Sita, in order to marry Rama. This angered Lakshamana and he cut off Shoorpanakha’s nose and ears. Then Sita was kidnapped by Raavan. Ram tried to ask Raavan to release Sita, But he refused to do so. The situation became worst and the war started. Raavan had done meditation for 10 thousand years, he had received boon from Lord Brahma that he could not be killed by spirits, demons or God. He was the most powerful demons among all. Lord Vishnu incarnated as the human Rama to defeat and kill him, remaining within the stipulations of Lord Brahma’s boon. An intensive and deadly battle took place between Ram and Raavan. The war ended with the death of Raavan. Ram killed Raavan and end his rule. Raavan had 10 heads. Killing this 10 headed Raavan ia known as Dussehra. That’s why we celebrate Dussehra or Vijayadashami.
What do people do on Dussehra?
Many people from Hindu religion celebrate Dussehra through special prayers and offering food to God at home or in temple. They also visit outdoor fairs and large parades with Effigies of Raavan. Effigies of Raavan is burnt on bonfire in the evening.
Below are some local celebrations in some areas in India that can last for up to 10 days. Local events include:
- Presentation of the Ramleela (a short version of the Ramayana) in Northern India.
- On this day, In Kolkata people celebrates Durga Pooja. You can see different types of theme pndals, musical performances, artistic idols, traditionally dressed people around there.
- Dasara, Mysore A large festival and procession including the goddess Chamundeshwari on a throne mounted on elephants in the town of Mysore in the state of Karnataka. It started in 1880.
- Dussehra in Kullu, Rath Yatra or the procession of Lord Raghunath on a decorated chariot led by the King of Kullu.
- The blessing of household and work-related tools, such as books, computers, cooking pans and vehicles in the state of Karnataka.
- The preparation of special foods, including luchi (deep fried flat bread) and alur dom (deep fried spiced potato snacks), in Bengal.
It is saying that Vijayadashami is a lucky day for starting a new venture or a project. Government offices, schools and banks remain closed on this day.