What is The Importance of Dussehra?
With the auspicious months of October and November arriving soon, festivities and celebrations are at its peak! The hustle and bustle of preparations have already begun to match the festive mood which is encapsulating the entire country. Dussehra or Vijayadashami is one such festival which the country celebrates with great zeal and enthusiasm. But to celebrate Dussehra with great pomp , 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. Dussehra calls for a celebration to commemorate the triumph of Good over Evil. People engage in a ceremonial burning of the big effigies of Ravana, Meghnad and Kumbhakarana along after with watching the enactment of Ram Leela together.
The epic saga of Ramyana divulges why Dussehra is celebrated across the Indian subcontinent. According to the tale, Lord Rama fought the demon lord Ravana for a period of ten days. The reason for this battle was the abduction of Goddess Sita. On the tenth day (or on the day of Dussehra) Lord Rama gained victory over the demon lord Ravana by slaying him, signifying the power of goodness and humanity over malicious evil. The motto of the epic saga and its final battle between good versus evil is a reminder that the path of “dharma” is always righteous and will overcome all kinds of perils. The mighty God will act as our saviour According to the religious text of Puranas, 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. The ideal Dussehra gift should resonate with the spirit of the festival, symbolising victory and positivity. Consider gifting idols or images of Lord Rama and Goddess Durga, signifying the victory of righteousness. Traditional Indian sweets, known as 'mithais,' are a delightful choice, spreading sweetness and joy, while also symbolising the sharing of happiness. Additionally, you can opt for vibrant and fragrant flower arrangements, such as marigolds and roses, which hold great significance during the festival, representing the beauty and positivity that Dussehra embodies. Customised gifts like engraved prayer accessories or personalised photo frames can add a personal touch, offering lasting memories and blessings. Ultimately, gifts for Dussehra should reflect love, positivity, and the celebration of virtue, making them meaningful tokens of affection and well-wishes for your loved ones. Choosing these special gifts on this auspicious occasion is a wonderful way to convey your deepest feelings and bestow blessings on those who hold a special place in your heart.
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.