This year Dussehra will be celebrated on 24 October 2023.

Dussehra-The Hindu Festival

India is a nation of fairs and festivals where persons celebrate and enjoy every festival with great pleasure and passion. Dussehra is known as Vijaya Dashmi and it is the most significant and longest festival of India. It is celebrated every year with full enthusiasm, faith, love and honour by the people of the country. It falls every year in the month of September or October. According to the Hindu calendar, Dushara celebrated on the tenth day of Ashvin month. This is a festival of seasonal change which indicates the arrival of winters and departure of the rainy season. This day is considered auspicious for the starting of journeys or business. Dussehra holds dual importance. The killing of Ravana and Durga Puja, both are celebrated together on this day. The day also coincides with the immersion of the idol of Goddess Durga.

Dussehra is the symbol of the defeat of 10 headed (ten faces) demon, Ravan on the tenth day of this festival by Lord Ram. The Dussehra festival signalizes the victory of truth over evil power. The day Lord Rama received victory by killing the demon king Ravana begin celebrating as the Dussehra festival by the people from ancient time.

Initial nine days includes the devotion of goddess Durga that’s why it is called a Navratra celebration. On the tenth day, individuals celebrate Dushara by burning the effigies of the nasty king, Ravana, Kumbhakarana, and Meghnath. This festival is normally celebrated by worshipping the Hindu Goddess Durga. Devotees of Lord Rama and Durga continue to keep fast for the first and last day or whole nine days and worship the Goddess Durga. Nine days or Navratra is called Durga Puja when goddess Durga is worshipped in her nine forms. Dussehra celebration is also called as Durgotsav. The day celebrates the killing of evil spirit Mahishasur by Goddess Durga. Dussehra festival spreads the message of the victory of goodness over the evil.

There is another legend behind the festival of Dussehra. Festival of the triumph of Lord Rama of rescuing his wife, Sita destroying  Ravana, in a horrible fight serves to be the backstory behind Dussehra. It is trusted that Ravana had ten faces. The ten faces likely speak to the ten wickedness aspects of his character. Besides, as per Mythology, Goddess Durga killed evil  Mahishasura after a long spell of barbarity, and harassment by Mahishasura. Another story related to the origination of this day is the shower of gold coins. After Kautsa inquires King Raghu for 140 million coins to give an offering to his Guru as in return for his knowledge, Raghuraja went to Indra for help who then inquire Lord Kuber to shower coins on the city of Ayodhya. After offering 140 million coins to his Guru, Kautsa distributed the rest to the public of Ayodhya.

Dussehra Puja is performed with incredible devotion and passion on this day. In India, many families draw, a pious, picture of Dusshera is drawn on the floor and worshipped by people. A printed picture of Dusshera is also worshipped. Customary rituals including doing the puja with water, cow dung, offerings of grains, flowers, fruits and sweets along with the lighting of Dhoop and Deepak followed by the parikrama are done by the family members. On this day, a person worships the arms being used from the time of his ancestor.

Dussehra is a lucky day for the worship of vehicles. The girls also observe this festival in an exclusive way.  They sow barley seeds in Navrat pooja. The seeds develop into plants around six inches high by this day. The sisters lift them up and put a few of them over the ears of their siblings and apply tilak on the forehead of their brothers. Consequently, they get blessings & gifts from their brothers.

The tradition and culture of celebrating this festival vary from region to region in the country. In West Bengal, it is celebrated with the worship of goddess Durga while in the south, it is celebrated as a triumph of goodness over evil. It is trusted that the festival of Dussehra began in the seventeenth century when the king of Mysore ordered the celebration of the day on a grand scale. From that time, this day is celebrated with great enthusiasm.

Generally, the day is commended to honor the predominance of good over evil. The day is praised on a huge scale in India and additionally in Bangladesh. The most popular Dussehra festival in India is those in the city of Mysore. Goddess Chamundeshwari is worshipped on this day and a fantastic procession of her statue is taken out over the city. The main building of the city is decorated with lights.

Other renowned Dussehra festivities in India include that of Kullu in Himachal Pradesh, Kolkata, and Orissa, where the celebration is preceded by week-long festivals. Individuals visit the Pooja Pandals wearing new garments, prepare traditional food at home and praise the celebration with their loved ones. In most different parts of India, Ramlila is organized across cities depicting the story of Ramayana which comes full circle in the killing of Ravana on this day. The tall effigies of Ravana, Kumbhakarana, and Meghnad are determined to flame in India on Dussehra. The effigies are stuffed with crackers. They start burning with a great bang of crackers. Inside no time the effigies are turning into ashes. There is a huge crowd of viewers. hereby, the celebration reaches an end on this day. Dussehra is a celebration of happiness.

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