India is acknowledged as a land of festivals & celebrations. Dussehra is also known as Vijayadashami. There are two significant stories behind celebration of Dussehra festival. One story is related with Lord Ram & another is associated with Goddess Durga. Dussehra festival falls in September or October month of the English calendar. Indeed, the main message that it gives is triumph of good over the evil and accomplishment of truth over lies.
Importance of Dussehra Festival
Dussehra festival is exceptional in its significance and perception. As per the great Hindu epic Ramayana, Ravana was killed by Lord Ram on the 10th day that is Dussehra. It is called victory of virtue over sin or immorality. Ravana abducted the wife of Ram, Sita and was also recognized as a dictating ruler. The end of Ravana meant end of bad & evil spirit. Throughout Navratri, Ramleela is organized in many parts of India & people enjoy the enactment of the play based on Ramayana. In eastern part of India, people worship Goddess Durga & celebrate Dussehra. It is believed that it was on that day that the demon Mahisasura was killed by the Goddess. Goddess Durga is honored with extreme fervor during the Navratri festival, which marks the commencement of autumn. Navratri means nine nights in Sanskrit. 9 different forms of Goddess Durga are worshipped in Navratra. Durga Puja festival occurs primarily on days six through ten of Navratri. On the 10th day, the victory of Durga over evil is celebrated as Dussehra.
Celebration of Dussehra
North India - In North India, generally people commemorate Dussehra by putting into fire the effigy of Ravana, Meghnath and Kumbhakarna. A chariot carrying Ram, Sita & Lakshaman passes through the mob & the person performing the part of Ram aims an arrow to blaze the effigies one by one.
Gujarat - In Gujarat, people congregate and dance every night of Navratri & even lot of competitions & shows are organized on this occasion. The songs are generally devotional ones & the dance form is known as Garba. In many places, Garba starts late at night & persist till dawn.
South India - In South India, Navratri days are uniformly divided to worship three Goddesses, Saraswati, Goddess of knowledge & learning, Lakhmi, Goddess of wealth & prosperity, and Durga, goddess of power & strength. They beautify their houses & steps with lamps & flowers in the evenings.
There are many other stories related with Dussehra. There is a spirit of brotherhood seen during festival seasons.