Dussehra festival is a major Hindu festival in India. It comes on the tenth day of Hindu month Ashwin according to the lunar calendar. It generally comes in the months of September or October. Dussehra 2018 is on 19th of October. The festival signifies the victory of good over evil; it marks the triumph of Lord Rama over Ravana. It also typifies the victory of warrior Goddess Durga over Mahishasura, the buffalo demon. Dussehra celebrations last up to 10 days.
Why and How Dussehra is celebrated?
Dussehra is a combination of two Sanskrit words ‘Dusha-hara’ which means removal often bad qualities. It is having various regional names like ‘Vijayadashami‘ ,’Dashain’, ‘Dashain’. Dussehra also commemorates the end of an auspicious nine-day festival known as ‘Navaratri’. Nine days of Navaratri, the tenth and last day is Dussehra. The traditions and ways of celebrating Dussehra may vary in several parts of the country, but its concept remains the same. The Dussehra fills enthusiasm, éclat, glamour, and show in people. It offers everyone a unique opportunity to plunge into the festive mood and celebrations will fill the life with a hop, happiness, and energy. Here is how people celebrate Dussehra in different regions of India?
Dussehra celebrations in North India:
In the Northern region of India, Ramleela is the spotlight of Dussehra celebrations. It showcases the scenes of Ramayana in which Lord Rama’s different phases of life are explained. In Ramleela Rama going to fourteen years of expat, Rama meeting his Brother Bharat, Sita being kidnapped by Ravana, the devastation of Ravana, the return of Rama to Ayodhya all are enacted.
In Kulu valley of Himachal Pradesh, they organize excellent emanations in which village folks will gather in large numbers. The emanations have more than a hundred deities are set up on the beautiful palanquins. The Kulu people will also perform Ramleela. In Northern states, they burn huge simulacrums of Ravana, Kumbhkaran, and Meghnath on vast grounds in different regions.
Dussehra Celebrations in South India:
Dussehra is a major South Indian festival that brings great joy and enthusiasm. During the nine days of Dussehra Hindus worship Goddess Durga. People arrange small effigies known as ‘Bommai Kolu’ on stilted steps and decorate with ornaments, flowers, and lamps. On the day of Dussehra, they take these Bommai Kolu down ceremonially in the form of huge emanation. The Mysore people organize Gala emanation where they decorate elephants and take them down in the streets of the city. They burn huge simulacrums of Ravana, Kumbhkaran, and Meghnath at huge grounds. And also they light up Mysore palace up during Dussehra season.
Celebrations in East India:
In the states of Eastern India particularly West Bengal, people celebrate Dussehra as the triumph of Goddess Durga over Mahishasura. They immerse the deities of Goddess Durga in water nearby lake or river by devotees, on Dussehra 2018. This is known as ‘Visarjan’. In Orissa, they burn effigies of Ravana.
Dussehra celebration in Western India:
In the western part of India, people celebrate Dussehra with great joy and happiness. They immerse the deities of Goddess Durga in water with the procession. People worship Aapta tree and exchange its leaves considering it as an auspicious symbol. They start a new venture on this auspicious day of Dussehra. People perform regional dances and sing devotional songs during the whole night of Dussehra.
Legends of Dussehra:
Lord Rama was sent to exile for fourteen years by his father King Dasaratha. Lord Rama’s wife Sita and brother Lakshmana accompanies him to live in the forest. In forests, Ravana, the King of Lanka abducts Sita. To rescue Sita, Rama with the help of Hanuman and an army of monkeys attacks Ravana. And the battle continues for ten days. On the tenth day, Rama defeats and kills the demon Ravana. Since then, people began to celebrate Dussehra.
Another tale is about the legendary Goddess Durga. Once the world was fed up with the torture of Demon Mahishasura, even gods were helpless. All Gods combined their energy to give birth to the mighty warrior Goddess Durga. Durga fights with the demon Mahishasura in a battle and kills his comrades Chanda and Muna for which she is familiar as Chamundeswari. This battle continues for nine days and on the tenth day there was a gruesome battle between Goddess and the demon, however, the Durga kills the demon. People celebrate the victory of Goddess Durga on this day as Vijayadashami in Karnataka and Eastern India. Festival celebrations in Mysore are lavish as the demon King Mahishasura belonged to the royal family of Mysore.
Dussehra Legend in Mahabharat:
One more tale of this festival is the Hindu epic of Mahabharata. The legend was after the defeat of Pandavas in gambling by Kauravas, they leave the kingdom and live in forests for 12 years and one year they must live in disguise by the winners. For 12 year they should live in forests but for the final year, they had to hide from all their powerful weapons and divinity.
Therefore Pandavas hid their weapons under the Shami tree, which was near their abidance. Kauravas made efforts to find out their hidden weapons but were unsuccessful in doing so. After the period of disguise was over, Pandavas went to the Shami tree, worshipped it and retrieved their weapons. All this happened on Dashmi day. Thus, this day is known as Vijayadashami, the victory of Pandavas in completing their exile.
Dussehra images greetings:
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