​Dussehra

Tuesday,  8 October

​Dussehra also known as Vijayadashami,  Vijayadashami  is a composite of two words “Vijaya”and “Dashami” which respectively mean “victory”and “tenth,”connoting the festival on the tenth day celebrating the victory of good over evil.

Vijayadasami is celebrated in a variety of ways in South India. Celebrations range from worshipping Durga, lighting up temples and major forts such as at Mysore, to displaying colorful figurines, known as a golu.

Dussehra

Vijayadashami celebrations include processions to a river or ocean front that carry clay statues of Durga, Lakshmi, Saraswati, Ganesha and Kartikeya, accompanied by music and chants, after which the images are immersed into the water for dissolution and a goodbye. Elsewhere, on Dasara, the towering effigies of Ravan symbolizing the evil are burnt with fireworks marking evil’s destruction. The festival also starts the preparation for one of the most important and widely celebrated Diwali, the festival of lights, which is celebrated twenty days after the Vijayadashami.

Ravan kidnapped Sita. Raam requested Ravan to release her, but Ravan refused; the situation escalated and lead to the war. After performing severe penance for ten thousand years, Ravan received a boon from the creator-god Brahma: he could henceforth not be killed by gods, demons, or spirits. He is portrayed as a powerful demon king who disturbs the penances of rishis. Lord Vishnu incarnates as the human Rama to defeat and kill him, thus circumventing the boon given by Lord Brahma. A deadly and fierceful battle takes place between Raam and Ravan in which Raam kills Ravan and ends the evil rule. Ravan has ten heads. The killing of the one who has ten heads is called Dusshera. Finally, Dharma was established on the Earth because of Raam’s victory over Ravan. Thus this festival is celebrated reminding the victories of Good over Evil.

In Gujarat, both goddess Durga and god Rama are revered for their victory over evil.

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