Dussehra 2021: History, Significance and Celebrations
Dussehra History and Significance: Dussehra festival marks the end of Navratri (nine-day) festival and concludes with Vijayadashami. This year, it will be celebrated on October 15.
On Dussehra, several rituals are performed during the Aparahna time like ‘Shami puja’, ‘Aparajita puja’ and ‘Seema avalanghan’. In various places in India, Ravana effigies are burned to signify the victory or destruction of evil along with fireworks.
According to the Hindu calendar, the Dussehra festival is celebrated in the month of Ashvina. As we know that Lord Rama fought a battle in Lanka with the demon king Ravana where Lord Rama killed Ravana. Therefore, Dussehra or Vijayadashami is celebrated.
Dussehra Festival: History
There are several mythological stories behind this festival. This day in some parts of India signifies the day on which Goddess Durga killed the demon Mahishasur. That is why all the nine avatars of Goddess Durga are worshipped on the Navaratri. It is also said that Goddess Durga is immersed in water with the devotees who signifies the departure of Goddess Durga from the material world after maintaining Dharma.
In South India, the Dussehra festival mainly, in Mysore, Karnataka is celebrated as the day when Chamundeshwari, another avatar of Goddess Durga killed the demon Mahishasur. Do you know that the entire city is illuminated with colourful lights and decorated beautifully? In fact parades of elephants that carry processions of Goddess Chamundeshwari were also carried throughout the city.
In North India, the Dussehra festival is celebrated as the day when Lord Rama killed the demon king Ravana in Lanka. According to Hindu mythology, it is said that Ravana kidnapped Lord Rama's wife Sita. Ravana also got a boon from Lord Brahma for being indestructible. Lord Rama is considered as the seventh reincarnation of Lord Vishnu and in the battle; Lord Rama managed to shoot an arrow in the belly of Ravana and killed him. That is why the Dussehra festival is celebrated as a victory of good over evil.
Dussehra Festival: Significance
Dussehra is the festival of the victory of good over evil. This festival signifies that wrongdoings on some of the other days come in front of everyone. Whether any evil forces push you, truth and righteousness always win. Also, Dussehra is considered as a day for starting new businesses or new investments. In South Indian in some states, on this day, small children are admitted to schools.
Dussehra Festival: Celebrations
In various parts of northern India, huge and colourful effigies of Ravana and his son Meghanada and brother Kumbhakaran are set on fire in the ground or open fields. People participate in the event and enjoy it. Dussehra festival is also observed by organising a theatrical enactment of life stories of Rama known as Ram Lila. At the end of Durga Puja, people celebrate this festival in West Bengal, Bihar, and Odisha. Bengalis sing folk songs, immerse the idols of Goddess Durga in water bodies. In Himachal Pradesh, the Vijayadashami festival in Kullu has been given the status of an International festival by the State Government.
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