What is The Importance of Dussehra?

With October / November months arriving soon, the festivities are on its peak! The hustle and bustle have already begun with all preparations and festive mood surrounding us. Dussehra or Vijayadashami is one such festival which the country celebrates with great zeal and enthusiasm. But to celebrate Dussehra with great pomp and shows, one must know the importance of Dussehra to celebrate the very essence of this festival.

Dussehra or Vijayadashami, as it is popularly known has got a very unique significance, being attached to it. Though people tend to celebrate this festival in their own way, the significance remains the same. Dussehra calls for a celebration to commemorate the victory of the Good over the Evil. People engage in publicly burning the big effigies of Ravana, Meghnad and Kumbhakarana along with watching Ram Leela together. The story that confirms the reasons to celebrate Dussehra goes like this… Lord Rama fought Ravana for a period of ten days because he had abducted Goddess Sita. On the tenth day (or on the day of Dussehra) it is said that Lord Rama killed Ravana, signifying the power of goodness and humanity is above all. With this motto, it is generally believed that whenever there will be some evil doings, to remind the path of “dharma” God will act as our saviour by appearing in some different form.

According to Puranas, it is said that on this day Goddess Durga had also killed the buffalo demon, Mahishasura. So, over the period of all the 9 days, she is prayed in all her 9 different forms. Her victory is widely celebrated as Vijayadashami in the Eastern part of the country, followed by Durga Visarjan, preceding to those 9 days. Celebrations are different for every different Indian state. Like, for North Indians, as discussed above, this festival calls for the burning of effigies and watching a skit, enacting the story behind the festival by various artists. For the people of West Bengal, it calls for endless shopping for gifts for Dussehra, doing some dhunuchi dancing, pandal hopping and savouring maa’s bhog.

Simply, it’s like a small carnival to celebrate the win of good over the evil and truth over lies. In the West, particularly in Gujarat, folks gather around to celebrate this festival with great fervour by tapping their feet to Dandiya or Garba tunes. People in Gujarat tend to prep themselves up by getting their sticks and chaniya choli ready. From dancing to Bollywood songs to some traditional devotional songs, the people tend to spend the night dancing, eating and witnessing the vibe of the city around. A lot of shows and competitions are arranged in honour of this festival. While in South India, three different Goddesses are worshipped Lakhmi, Saraswati and Durga, goddess of power and strength. One blesses us with wealth, the other blesses us with knowledge and finally, Durga Maa blesses us with strength and power to fight our struggle, respectively. To witness how this festival is celebrated across South India, one needs to visit Mysore, during this time of the year.

Regardless of it being a Hindu festival, India is a land of festivals where people forget their own caste, creed and other such features to cherish the spirit of brotherhood. And the hype that surrounds Dussehra needs to be experienced, once in a lifetime to stricken with the festive fever.

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