Dussehra 2017: History, importance and significance of this festival

Dussehra which is also known as ‘Vijayadashami’, is a major festival which is celebrated at the end of Navratri every year.

It is a celebration of the victory of good over evil. Every year as per Hindu calendar, this important festival is celebrated on the tenth day of the month Ashvin.

This year, the whole nation is celebrating Dussehra today (September 30). The festival is observed for different reasons and celebrated differently in various parts of India. People all over the country participate in the occasion in their own way, with great zeal and enthusiasm.

The day marks the victory of the seventh incarnation of Lord Vishnu – Lord Rama when he killed the ten-headed demon Ravana and thereafter handed over the throne of his kingdom Lanka to his brother Vibhishana.
The word ‘Dussehra’ is derived from two Sanskrit words – ‘dasha’ and ‘hara’ – that means defeating the ten. The day also marks the end of Durga Puja, where people remember goddess Durga’s victory over the buffalo demon Mahishasur, to help restore Dharma.

Durga led a battle against Mahishasur and it lasted for nine days and nine nights. Durga killed Mahishasur on the tenth day. Therefore, different manifestations of goddess Durga are worshipped during the nine-day long Navratri festival each year. Wherein the tenth day is dedicated to Durga as Vijayadashmi. The feminine power is worshipped and celebrated during the festival of Navratri. Navratri celebration culminates with Dussehra on the tenth day, when the idol of goddess Durga is immersed in a river or a lake.

People celebrate the festival in different ways across the country. In North India, various colourful fairs are organised. Plays based on the story of Ramayan, which is known as Ramleela are performed. On the day of Vijayadashmi, huge effigies of Ravan, Meghnad and Kumbhakarn are also set on fire. Whereas in places like Odisha and West Bengal, the idol of the goddess is immersed in a river or a lake on the day of Vijayadashmi.


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