Dussehra celebrates the victory of Lord Rama – the seventh avatar of Lord Vishnu – over Ravana, a multi-headed demon king, the Rama’s wife Sita. kidnapped
Navratri comes to an end, and with him the festival of Dussehra.
But what does the festival symbolize and how is it celebrated?
Here is everything you need to know.
Dussehra, also known as Dasara or Vijayadashami, celebrates the victory of Lord Rama – the seventh avatar of the god Vishnu – over Ravana, a multi-headed demon king who kidnapped Rama’s wife Sita.
His triumph over Ravana marked the end of an evil reign and meant the success of good over evil.
The festival marks the end of Navratri, one of the most important and celebrated festivals in India, with devotees of the goddess Durga honoring her nine forms during the nine days.
During this time devotees will fast, perform a worship ritual called puja, and celebrate the nine representations of Durga’s feminine power to the world.
The goddess Durga won a nine-day battle against the buffalo demon Mahishasura, which resulted in his death and the restoration of the Dharma on the 10th day, the Dussehra.
The name of the festival comes from the Sanskrit words the HA, which means 10, and harawhat defeat means.
Dussehra is on Friday, October 15th this year.
It is observed on Shukla Paksha Dashmi during the month of Ashwin according to the Hindu lunar calendar.
For many, it marks the beginning of preparation for Diwali, which takes place 20 days after Dussehra.
Dussehra is perceived differently around the world, particularly in different parts of the subcontinent India, with the celebrations being listed on Unesco’s “Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity” list.
In the North and West Indies, where the day is mainly spent in honor of Lord Rama, the festivities are mostly centered on Ramleela – a theatrical reenactment of his life.
Hundreds of plays, dance, and music are staged at outdoor festivities for families and friends, with giant effigies of Ravana later being lit to symbolize the destruction of evil.
Those in the southern and eastern parts of the country mainly dedicate the day to the goddess Durga and hold processions on the waterfront.
Clay statues are ceremonially carried to a river or ocean while music and prayers are chanted before being submerged in the water. The statues dissolve as soon as they are submerged, which means Durga’s return to other gods.