Dussehra, one of the most important Hindu festival. Dussehra is also called as Vijaya Dashami, Dasara, Dashain or Maha Navmi.
WHEN IT IS CELEBRATED ?
Dussehra is celebrated on the tenth day in the month of “Ashwin” (according to the Hindu calendar). And the first nine days of this month are celebrated as Navratri. It falls in the month of September or October, according to the civil calendar.
WHY IT IS CELEBRATED ?
Dussehra is celebrated to commemorate the victory of God Rama over a Devil King Ravana, who was the king of Lanka. And this day also coincides with the immersion of Goddess Durga (idol) as Goddess Durga killed buffalo-headed demon Mahishasur.
HISTORY BEHIND DUSSEHRA
The celebration of Dussehra started in the 17th century. There are many mythological tales regarding this day. But the most popular one is :
According to Ramayana : As a revenge, Lord Rama killed Ravana in the cruel act of kidnapping Goddess Sita (wife of Lord Rama). Lord Rama prayed and fasted for nine days, and since then people are following the same tradition of nine days fast and named it as “Navratri”.
By Lord Rama’s devotion, on the tenth day Goddess Durga got pleased and gave him the secret knowledge to kill Ravana. As a result Rama defeated Ravana and rescued Goddess Sita.
The other popular story behind this auspicious day is the victory of Goddess Durga over the buffalo-headed demon Mahishasur. It is believed that, at that time the Demigods had become powerful and they attempted to defeat Devas and capture heavens, then Goddess Durga took the form of Shakti and killed Mahishasur. She fought Mahishasur for nine days and nine nights and finally on the tenth day she killed Mahishasur.
HOW DO PEOPLE CELEBRATE IT ?
In some areas in India, the celebrations last up to 10 days. Some of the events are:
- Performances of Ramlila : a short version of Ramayana in North India.
- Procession on a throne mounted on elephants in the town of Mysore in Karnataka.
- Preparation of some special foods in Bengal.
SOME INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT DUSSEHRA
- The Festival of Dussehra is not only celebrated in India, it is also celebrated in Bangladesh, Nepal and Malaysia.
- Dussehra is the national festival of Nepal and there it is known as “Dashain”.
- The carvings of demon Ravana were burnt on this day along with firecrackers.
- It is believed that great Ashoka has converted to Buddhism on this day.
- The ten heads of Ravana represent ten evils, and those ten evils are : Greed, Attachment, Injustice, Selfishness, Ego, Delusion, Lust, Pride, Anger and Jealousy.
- According to mythology, monkey Gods built the “Ram Setu Bridge” (30 km long) as the path for Lord Rama to kill demon Ravana.
A time for celebration, a time for victory of good over bad, a time when world see the example of power of good. Let us continue the same “true spirit”.
AMICI WISHES YOU A HAPPY DUSSEHRA