As you know, India is known for its diverse culture and traditions. The country has many festivals symbolizing different kinds of events, religious and cultural. One such festival is Dussehra, which is also called Vijayadashmi. But do you know what is Dussehra celebrated for? If not, then this blog will help you gain insights into Dussehra.
When do we Celebrate Dussehra?
Being considered one of the biggest festivals in Hinduism, it comes under the 10th day of the Karthik month according to the Hindu calendar. In the present year of 2023, it comes on 24th October. It is one of the Hindu festivals with great significance in historical and cultural means. You might find people celebrating this festival for multiple reasons.
Why Do We Celebrate Dussehra?
Even though Dussehra is a festival commemorating the triumph of lord Rama, the day also has a great historical significance beyond it. Let’s discuss more about the historical and cultural significance of Dussehra.
Also, read about the History of Ram Navami- 5 Reasons to Celebrate in India
Historical Importance of Dussehra
Dussehra is one of the significant festivals culminating nine days of Navaratri festivals celebrating the victory of lord Rama over demon King Ravana in the battle depicted in the epic Ramayana. The ten-headed demon king Ravana abducted Sita, the wife of lord Rama. It was followed by a battle in which lord Rama led with his follower lord Hanuman to defeat Ravana. So, Dussehra signifies the restoration of justice and the win of good over evil.
However, the Hindu mythology also shares another reason behind celebrating Dussehra. The event is also commemorated as the end of Mahishasura. It is said that the goddess Durga fought with the buffalo demon Mahishasura for nine days and slayed him. He was defeated and vanquished on the tenth day which is called Dussehra. This triumph of the goddess Durga signifies the win of righteousness by reflecting feminine power.
But what is the cultural importance of the festival Dussehra? Why do people consider it as one of the prime epitome of cultural significance? Here are some points.
Cultural Significance of Dussehra
Even though there is a lot of significance behind Hindu festivals, Dussehra stands out by signifying the battle of good and evil and the victory of good. It reminds and encourages people to live a life by holding moral values, uplifting righteousness and ethical aspects for an eternal life. However, Dussehra is also celebrated by a diverse community beyond religion and caste to encourage unity. Since people come and gather from various places to celebrate the festival, it evokes joy and harmony in the community.
What is the Religious Aspects and Significance of Dussehra?
Even though Dussehra is celebrated in various parts of India, people celebrate it religiously. Here are the two aspects behind celebrating Dussehra.
Ayudha Puja: It is one of the prominent ways of celebrating Dussehra that is significant in South India. On this day, people consider worshipping their instruments, books, tools, vehicles, etc. People clean their houses and decorate them for puja.
Worshipping Goddess Durga: In some places, Dussehra is dedicated to worshipping goddess Durga, symbolizing power and strength. On these days, the devotees visit the temples of goddess Durga, praise and worship her and seek blessings.
Suggested Reads: Who are lord Shiva's father and mother?
How Dussehra is Celebrated?
Since we learned about the significance, it's time to explore how people celebrate Dussehra. Celebrating a festival might differ in various parts of India.
As you know, Dussehra is a festival of cultural importance, people gather together to conduct programs like dance, folk, music and art exhibitions. Many people take this opportunity to showcase their creative talents, art and traditions.
Grand Processions and Fairs
Processions are one of the prime ways of celebrating Dussehra. It is also called Ravana Dahan and is conducted in most cities and regions. The statue of the demon king Ravana with his brothers Kumbhakarna and Meghananda was carried throughout the processions. People make it more entertaining and engaging through dance and music, and at the end, they burn the statue to signify the win of good over evil.
In many places, people organize Dussehra fairs featuring amusement or fun activities and shopping. Through these fairs and processions, people from different regions unite to celebrate it.
Ramlila is one of the most popular ways of celebrating Dussehra in north India. It is an open-air theatrical performance that happens throughout the Navarathri days. Ramalila is all about portraying the story of the epic Ramayana through which people showcase the victory of lord Rama against demon king Ravana.
In addition to these entertainments, people also conduct special prayers and offerings in front of the idols of lord Rama and goddess Durga in their homes. Devotees visit temples, especially of the goddess Durga and lord Rama to commemorate the mythological stories and offer prayers.
Make this Dussehra a Memorable One
Dussehra is a festival that resonates with religious and cultural significance. It always reminds battle of the epic Ramayana and the symbolizing righteousness. It is always a prime festival of togetherness, exchanging gifts, entertainment, artistic exposure and more.
Let’s wait for the Dussehra of this year and make it more mesmerizing and unforgettable.