The festival of Dussehra is another grand celebration which commemorates the legendary history of Hinduism. The event of Lord Rama’s victory over the demon king Ravana in the mythological text of ‘Ramayana’ is one the most prevalent behind the story of Dussehra. Alternatively, in many regions of India, it also celebrates the triumph of Goddess Durga, Arjuna, and even Kings who banished the evil.
Like other religious festivals, it rejoices in the removal of evil darkness through the light of good. Find here complete information about Dussehra Festival in India :
History and Significance Of Dussehra Festival
The festival is centuries old in practice and even older as per the epic texts of ‘Ramayana’ and ‘Mahabharata’. It is one of the major Hindu festivals celebrated in India. Dussehra also recognized as ‘Dasara’ or ‘Vijayadashami’ owes its significance to multiple glorious events in Hindu mythology.
In Ramayana, the day when Lord Rama, the seventh reincarnation of Lord Vishnu killed Ravana, the demon king is celebrated as Dussehra. The ten-headed Ravana was a great devotee of Lord Shiva and secured an immortal drink as a boon in his belly with the power of his devotion. Ravana abducted Devi Sita, wife of Rama, to avenge his sister and committed a lot of other sins. Therefore, to restore peace and eradicate evil, Lord Rama killed Ravana and Dussehra came into existence.
The other two incredible legends attached to Dussehra are that of Goddess Durga and Arjuna. Goddess Durga killed the demon king Mahishasura and saved the court of Indra, the King of Devas from being invaded. In Mahabharata, Arjuna, one of the five Pandav brothers, conquered a number of Kaurava’s warriors like Bhishma, Drona, Karna, and Ashwathama. Therefore, the epic war took its turn towards the victory of Dharma.
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When is Dussehra Celebrated
Dussehra festival is celebrated on the tenth day of the Ashwin month as per the Hindu calendar. The date generally falls in the month of October or September (which is although rare). The day of Dussehra is preceded by the nine nights or ‘Navratri’ which is a fasting tradition dedicated to Goddess Durga and her other forms. These nine days signify the nine Devis who is worshipped on each day. In 2021, Dussehra will be celebrated on the 15th of October marking the end of fasting and the advent of burning the evil.
How is Dussehra Celebrated
The diversity of India is well-maintained in the rituals of Dussehra that are unique to different regions of the country. People follow different traditions as per the legend and myth of Dussehra they believe in. In several states, the epic of Ramayana is enacted to spread awareness about the religious aspects of the festival and to reminisce the glorious victory of Lord Rama.
Another popular ritual is carried by burning the effigies of the demon king Ravana. It is shot with an arrow or manually burnt so that people can witness the end of evil. The festival is also celebrated with firecrackers alluding to the coming of Diwali.
There are grand processions in some states like Mysore and palaces are decorated with alluring lights to enhance the magnificence of the festival. On the other hand, there are devotees immersed in the worship of Goddess Durga in states like West Bengal. Therefore, the festival of Dussehra is a mixture of rituals, traditions, and beliefs.
Where Is Dussehra Celebrated?
Dussehra is a festival celebrated with immense enthusiasm throughout the hills, plains, and coastal regions of India. Here are a few grand celebrations worth a visit during Vijayadashami :
1. The ancient city of Varanasi celebrates Dussehra on the banks of the holy Ganges. The water is covered in the light of earthen lamps and visitors are enchanted by the ‘aarti’ and devotional songs.
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2. The capital city – Delhi, set-up the best stages to showcase enactments of Ramayana around the best venues with amazing food and other mesmerizing performances.
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3. When the extreme devotion of Durga Pooja combines with the excitement of Dussehra, the celebration in Kolkata reaches its peak. Get a glimpse of the culture, traditions, and delicacies of the city of joy.
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4. The famous Dandiya Raas of Gujarat is all welcoming to the visitors to join in the fun and happiness of the folks performing Garba in vibrant attires.
5. To get acquainted with the religious Taranga dance of Goa, Dussehra is the best time as people celebrate the victory of Goddess Durga. The temples are the hotspot of celebration while a parade distributes the joy evenly in the villages.
6. The tribals of Bastar rejoice in Dussehra as a dedication to a local Goddess for a span of 75 days. A pure celebration filled with energy and devotion accompanied by unique tribal rituals.
7. Another intriguing festivity can be experienced in Tamil Nadu where Dussehra is devoted to Goddess Kali. The main ritual of demonstrating the victory of the Devi over Mahishasura is performed on an elegantly decorated beach. The scenic beauty and theatrical representation are quite captivating.
Tourist Attractions In Dussehra Festival
Every corner of India is welcoming to tourists on the occasion of Dussehra just like other festivals. The native people never forget to entertain their guests with glorious myths, mesmerizing folklore, fancy attires, and energetic dances.
The delicious food during the festive season is something you must not compromise with, keeping aside those calorie counts and satisfying your taste buds is advisable. Dussehra is a festival of diverse rituals here are some obvious tourist attractions:
The Ram Leela – Know the meaning of the festivity you are enjoying with this creative enactment of Ramayana, a tale of Lord Rama’s advents.
The Burning Ravana – Yes, the statue is built with great effort and painted with vibrant colors only to burn it and witness the elimination of evil. You can enjoy the local fares that are generally organized near the effigy of Ravana.
Take a souvenir – How great it is to bring back mementos of cultures as a memory. The stalls are brimming with handicrafts, traditional clothes, and accessories of various kinds. Don’t forget to buy something for your loved ones.