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Dasara or Vijayadashami Festival 2023: History & Significance. Dasara or Vijayadashami, is a major Hindu festival celebrated in India with great enthusiasm. It holds deep religious and cultural significance.
History of Dasara or Vijayadashami Celebration:
Here’s why Dasara or Vijayadashami is celebrated in India:
Victory of Good Over Evil:
- Dasara commemorates the triumph of Lord Rama over the demon king Ravana, as narrated in the epic Ramayana. This victory symbolizes the ultimate victory of good (represented by Lord Rama) over evil (embodied by Ravana). It conveys the message that righteousness and virtue will always prevail over wickedness.
End of Navaratri:
- Dasara marks the conclusion of the nine-day festival of Navaratri, which is dedicated to the worship of Goddess Durga. During Navaratri, the different forms of the Goddess are revered, and on the tenth day (Dasara), her blessings are sought for the journey ahead.
When Dasara or Vijaydashami is celebrated?
Dasara or Vijayadashami is celebrated in India on the tenth day of the Hindu lunar calendar month of Ashwin. This typically falls in September or October according to the Gregorian calendar. The date of Dasara may vary from year to year, as it is based on the lunar calendar.
2023: 24th October
How Dasara or Vijaydashami is celebrated?
Dussehra is celebrated with great fervor and fanfare all over India. There are many different ways in which Dussehra is celebrated, depending on the region and tradition. However, there are some common elements to the celebrations, such as:
Worship of the gods and goddesses:
- On Dussehra, people worship the gods and goddesses in their homes and temples. They offer prayers and sacrifices, and sing hymns and bhajans.
- In many parts of India, the Ramlila is performed during Dussehra. The Ramlila is a dramatic enactment of the story of the Ramayana, which is an epic Hindu poem that tells the story of the battle between good and evil.
Burning of Ravana effigies:
- One of the most iconic features of Dussehra is the burning of effigies of Ravana, Kumbhakarna, and Meghnad. These effigies are often made of paper and straw, and they are filled with firecrackers. On the tenth day of Dussehra, the effigies are set ablaze, symbolizing the victory of good over evil.
Specific Celebration across the India:
- In North India, Dussehra is celebrated with great pomp and show. The Ramlila is performed in many cities and towns, and effigies of Ravana are burnt in large public gatherings.
- In Kullu, Himachal Pradesh:Dasara is celebrated with the Kullu Dussehra festival, which is known for its elaborate rituals and processions. The festival culminates in the burning of a huge effigy of Ravana.
East India: Durga Puja
- In East India, Dussehra is also known as Durga Puja. This is one of the biggest festivals of the year in this region, and it is celebrated with great devotion.
- People worship the goddess Durga and offer her sacrifices. On the tenth day of Durga Puja, the idols of the goddess Durga are immersed in rivers and lakes.
West India: Navratri
- In West India, Dussehra is celebrated with a mix of Hindu and Muslim traditions. In Gujarat, the festival is known as Navratri and it is celebrated with great fanfare. People dance the Garba and Dandiya Ras, and effigies of Ravana are burnt in large public gatherings.
- In South India, Dussehra is celebrated with a mix of Hindu and Dravidian traditions. In Tamil Nadu, the festival is known as Vijayadashami and it is celebrated with great devotion. People worship the goddess Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge and learning.
- In Mysore, Karnataka: Dasara is a royal festival, and the city comes alive with colorful processions, music, and dance. The highlight of the celebrations is the Mysore Dasara Jumbo Savari, a procession of elephants led by a golden idol of Goddess Chamundeshwari.
No matter how it is celebrated, Dussehra is a time for people to come together and celebrate the victory of good over evil. It is a time to reflect on the importance of dharma and to renew one’s commitment to living a virtuous life.