Festival of Dussehra, also known as Vijayadashami is celebrated to mark the triumph of good over evil. This festival is traditionally celebrated based on the epic of Ramayana which is the tale of Lord Rama and Ravana. Lord Rama defeated and killed the demon king and rescued his wife proving victorious and powerful.
This festival spans ten days and the tenth day is the Dussehra. On this day, the effigies which represent evil are burned, and people are inspired to follow the path of goodness and virtue all over the year. In these ten-day celebrations, Garba is played for nine nights, and this is known as Navratri. Each of these nine days symbolizes different Goddess.
This festival is celebrated in different ways in different regions of India. In Maharashtra, people make Gielgud as sweets and share with friends and relatives. They decorate their houses with rangoli and toran. People worship their tools, books and other equipment that they use in their work. On the ninth day of Dussehra, people celebrate Ayudha Puja in many regions of India. This day is considered as pious to start a new venture.
What Happens During Dussehra
- Dussehra symbolizes the victory of virtue over evil. According to Ramayana, an epic text in India, Lord Rama killed the demon king Ravana on this evening.
- Accordingly, for the nine days preceding Dussehra, people enact the Ramayana. It is called playing the Ramlila.
- By this time artists erect very large statues of Ravana along with his brothers Kumbhakarn and Meghnad. These statues are filled with fire crackers and are made out of paper for easy burning.
- On the tenth day the person playing Rama, along with the artist playing Laxman, the brother of Rama, stand in front of these effigies and shoot a burning arrow at them and this is the destruction of evil.
- The site usually is a fair ground with a fair going on for ten days. Moreover, thousands of people gather to watch the ‘Burning of Ravana’
- People dress up and go out in the evening to take blessings from the elders in the family and neighborhood, by giving them some leaves symbolizing long life.
- People also worship their books, vehicles, and weapons on this day.
Dussehra is exciting because as it ends, preparation for Diwali, the festival of lights, start.