This year Dussehra falls on 8 October. While some devotees associate this day with the epic battle of Ramayana, others commemorate Goddess Durga’s victory over the buffalo demon Mahishasura.
Dussehra is celebrated in the month of Ashwin on the 10th day, which according to the Gregorian calendar falls either in the month of September or October.
The last day of Navratri is also known as Vijay Dashami or Dasain in certain parts of our country. The word Vijay Dashami is made up of two words—'Vijaya' meaning victory and 'Dashami' meaning the tenth. Meanwhile, the word Dussehra is also made of two Sanskrit words— 'Dasha' meaning ten and 'Hara' meaning defeat.
One of the most important and widely celebrated festivals in the country, Dussehra is followed by the festival of lights, Diwali, which marks Lord Rama's homecoming after his victory against Ravana. The Hindu festival is celebrated twenty days after Dussehra.
Puja timings for Vijay Dashami
According to Drik Panchang, this year the Dashami Tithi will begin at 12:38 pm tomorrow and will end at 2:50 pm on 8 October, 2019.
Significance of Dussehra
In North and certain parts of South India, Dussehra is celebrated to commemorate the battle between Lord Rama and demon king Ravana. As per Hindu belief, Ravana had kidnapped Rama’s wife Sita and taken her to his kingdom in Sri Lanka. Lord Rama, his brother Lakshman along with Lord Hanuman and their army of monkeys travelled to the ten-headed king Ravana’s kingdom to defeat him.
Dussehra celebration in India
In Northern India, including Delhi and Varanasi, huge effigies of Ravana are burnt on the occasion of Dussehra as part of the celebrations. The Ram Leela, which consists of plays and musicals that revolve around the tales of the Ramayana, are attended by hordes of locals and tourists in the days preceding Dusshera.
For Hindu devotees in states like West Bengal, Assam, Odisha and Tripura, it is Durga Puja where the Goddess emerged from the collective energy of all Gods as an embodiment of Shakti or divine feminine power, to destroy demon Mahishasura is worshipped with much grandeur and attend cultural ceremonies.
In South India, devotees celebrate the nine days of Navratri with a display of gods and dolls called 'Golu' and prepare sweets and special dishes to worship the nine forms of Goddess.
Dussehra celebrations in Mysore are considered to be one of the most spectacular in the country. The Mysore Palace which is illuminated and cultural performances are organized at a grand scale remains the highlight of celebrations.
In Maharashtra, families visit friends and offer the dried apta leaf which is considered to be a symbol of prosperity. On this auspicious day, people also invest in gold and other expensive metals; it is believed that this will lead to prosperity all year round.
Even though the celebrations held across the country on this day may slightly differ from one another, the overall ethos of this festival is that of good triumphing over evil.
Updated Date: Oct 08, 2019 08:06:22 IST