Happy Dussehra: Vijayadashmi Date, History, Significance and Celebrations
Dussehra or Vijayadashmi is one of the most renowned festivals of Hindus, which depicts the victory of good over evil. The celebrations commemorate the victory of Lord Rama over the demon Ravana. Some states also celebrate Dussehra as the demolition of a demon named Mahisasur by Goddess Durga, like Durga Puja. Huge celebrations take place on this pious occasion. In many places, Religious organizations conduct a 10-day Ramleela that concludes with Dussehra and they burn huge effigies of Demons Ravana, Meganatha, and Kumbhakaran that attract large crowds. We wish you a very Happy Dussehra!
Dussehra Celebrations in 2021
Hindus observe Dussehra on the tenth day of the Hindu calendar month of Ashvin or Kartik. In 2021 it falls on Friday, 15 October. Durga Puja is celebrated from the sixth day of Navaratri. It will continue for 4 days and then end with Vijayadashmi.
The legend behind Dussehra Festival
The great Hindu epic Ramayana is the legendary tale of Lord Rama winning his beloved wife Sita, who was abducted by demon Ravana, the emperor of Lanka.
According to Hindu mythology, Shoorpnakha, Ravana’s sister, was mesmerized by Rama and Lakshmana (Rama’s younger brother). She wanted to marry any one of them. However, both of them refused her so, she threatened them to kill Sita. Lakshamana, in outrage, cut her ears and nose. To take her sister’s revenge Ravana abducted Sita. To rescue Sita, Rama and Lakshmana fought a vigorous battle with Ravana in Lanka with the help of Lord Hanuman and an enormous army of monkeys.
Dussehra is celebrated with immense fervor and joy all over India. Let’s have a look at Dussehra celebrations in various regions of the country:
Dussehra in Northern India:
The North Indian States celebrate Dussehra with huge fanfare. In many places, all through these 9 days, the Ram-Leela is enacted. Then, the effigies of Ravana often along with those of Meghnada (Ravana’s son) and Kumbhkarana (Ravana’s brother) are stuffed with firecrackers and set aflame at night in open fields on the 10th day of Dussehra. Thousands of dance, drama, and musicals based on the Ramayana and Ramcharitmanas form the base of entertainment during Navratri.
- In Varanasi, Ramleela is enacted by artists for a whole month preceding Dussehra. UNESCO stamped this performance arts tradition as one of the “Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity” in 2008. Varanasi Dussehra is also Popularly known As Ganga Dussehra as the festivities take place on the banks of the Ganga river. A special ‘aarti’ takes place in the ghats. People take a holy dip in the river, light incense, and offer flowers to the river. They gather in groups to sing devotional songs and flow earthen lamps in the river water.
- The capital city of Delhi observes wonderful Dussehra celebrations. The food stalls, choreographed performances, celebrity actors, use of technology, and glitz lights add glam to the festivities. The highlight of all the celebrations is the Ramlila shows held at the Ramlila Maidan and Red Fort.
In the Kullu region of Himachal Pradesh, people celebrate Dussehra with a large fair and parade. Kullu Dussehra is famous internationally and more than 4-5 lakh people visit the fair from all across the globe. According to traditions, people install a huge statue of the deity Raghunath on a beautifully designed chariot, on the first day of the Festival. Then devotees after offering their prayers to the deity take him to different sites across the Dhalpur Maidan. Then they celebrate the following days with great devotion amidst various dances and song performances. They devour huge feasts. These vibrant cultural activities allure huge crowds. You can experience the power of faith and community in the laps of the mighty and scenic Himalayas.
Devotees in Kullu celebrate the last day of the festival by sacrificing a fish, crab, rooster, buffalo, and lamb, after which, they lit a huge bonfire. The celebrations conclude with a bonfire that signifies the burning of Lanka. Then a grand procession brings the idol of Lord Raghunath to its original position.
In Mysore, the capital city of Karnataka the people celebrate the festival in a very splendid manner. There are plenty of performances depicting the rich culture and traditions. These events attract a large number of people both Indian and foreigners. In Karnataka people also call the festival by the name ‘Nadahabba‘.
Mysore city observes plenty of dance performances and music concerts during Dussehra celebrations. The Mysore Palace is illuminated with dazzling lights that grab the attention of the people. The celebration used to host athletic competitions, dancing, singing, fireworks, etc. People can purchase various kinds of jewelry items, handicraft clothes, and enjoy mouth-watering dishes in the Dussehra exhibition. One can also enjoy numerous amusement rides.
Beautifully decorated elephants, camels, and horses walking together in a procession are the main highlights of the festival. People install the idol of the Goddess Chamundeshwari on a golden mandapa (a temple made up of wood, steel, gold, or silver). After that, they place it on the top of an elephant. The procession ends in a charming destination known as Bannimantap. Here, the royal couples worship the ‘Bann’ tree. According to legends, the Pandavas used the tree to hide their weapons during the one-year period of Agyatvas.
Vijayadashmi celebrations in Western India:
- In Maharashtra, people place the idols of gods and goddesses on the 1st day of Navratri and immerse them in water bodies on Dussehra. People visit their friends and relatives and exchange sweets.
- Gujarati’s celebrate the valiant authority of both Lord Rama and Goddess Durga. People fast and offer prayers at the temple. One can see Dandiya Raas and Garba in almost every home, club, or cultural ground. People wear colorful clothes and use decorated sticks to dance.
- In Rajasthan too, devotees revere and celebrate both Rama and Devi Durga.
- All throughout the country people celebrate the defeat of Ravana. However, the Gondi people found in the belts of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh do the opposite. They celebrate Ravana.
Dussehra celebrations in West Bengal:
Bengalis pronounce Dussehra as ‘Bijoya Doshomi’in West Bengal. All through the Navratri, they go out of their house for pandal shopping and eat wonderful food (especially non-veg). Whereas, the rest of India observes fast. On Dussehra, they immerse god idols in water with a great procession. Moreover, the main highlight of Bengal Dussehra is Sindoor Khela. Where The married women greet each other with a touch of Vermillion(Sindur). It is a mark of good luck and long married life. This ritual happens after greeting the Devi Durga idol with sweets and sindoor. You must agree that Bengal Dussehra is truly one of the most vibrant Dussehra Celebrations in our country.
Happy Dussehra Greetings
- Let’s celebrate the victory of good over evil. A very Happy Dussehra to you and your family!
- Let’s start a great life by conquering our eternal 5 evils -Kaam, Krodh, Lobh, Moh, Ahankar. Happy Dussehra!
- May Lord Rama always keep showering his blessings upon you. May Lord Rama fill your life with prosperity, good health, joy, and happiness. Happy Dussehra!
- May this Dussehra burn all your worries with Ravana and bring you and your family unlimited happiness.
- May this day clear all hurdles of your life. Happy Dussehra!
- May this Dussehra, shower you and your family with positivity, wealth, joy, and success. Warm wishes of Dussehra!
- May this Dussehra, burn the shackles of evil and bless your family with good health and fortune. Wishing you a happy Dussehra!
- On the auspicious occasion of Durga Puja, may goddess Durga take away all your worries. And bless you with health, wealth, and prosperity.
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Significance Of Dussehra
People of all ages enjoy the Dussehra celebrations. They witness the fireworks and enjoy the mesmerizing visuals. Kids wait for the festivities and insist their parents take them to see the firecrackers.
Dussehra carries a lot of importance in the Hindu religion. However, people from all religions witness the marvelous act of burning Ravana. Thus, it unites people as the audience comprises people from all walks of life and not just the Hindus. Most importantly, Dussehra teaches us that good always trumps evil and that light will always conquer darkness.
As we all know that due to Covid protocols rarely do Dussehra processions will occur. However, we must realize the essence of Dussehra by praying to Lord Rama. We should imbibe his life lessons and never let the goodness in our hearts fade away.
Dailyroabox wishes you a very Happy Dussehra!