Known as one of the most prominent festivals of the Hindu community, Dussehra marks the victory of Lord Rama over the demonic ruler, Ravana who kidnapped Rama’s wife, Sita. Also called Vijayadashami, this day is celebrated after the conclusion of the nine-day-long festival of Navratri.
Dussehra is a Sanskrit word which translates to ‘ten (dasha) defeat (hara)’ in English as it is known that demon King Ravana had 10 heads. According to the Hindu calendar, this day falls on the 10th day of the month of Ashvina. In 2020, Dussehra will be observed on 25th October.
History and significance
According to the legends, Ravana abducted the wife of Lord Rama which led to a deadly war between them. Demonic King Ravana was given a boon of being indestructible by Lord Brahma. After several events, Rama managed to kill Ravana by shooting an arrow through his belly-button. Therefore, the 10th day of Ashvina month of the Hindu calendar is celebrated as Dussehra, every year.
Many people throughout the nation celebrate this day as an occasion to honour the victory of good over evil. Devotees in the Eastern parts of India observe this day as the end of Durga Puja which begins with the festival of Navratri.
Dussehra Celebrations across India
On this day, devotees wear new clothes and organize public festivities for commemorating the victory of good over evil in the northern parts of India. Celebrated as the conclusion of the nine-day-long fast of Navratri, Dussehra is observed by organizing a theatrical enactment of Rama’s life story which is called Ram Lila.
People in the Eastern region of India including West Bengal, Bihar and Odisha observe this day as the end of Durga Puja which is celebrated by wearing a red saree and putting on vermilion. It is observed as an emotional occasion and Bengalis sing folk songs while immersing the idols of Goddess Durga in water bodies.