Dussehra, also known as Vijaya Dashami, is an Indian festival that celebrates good forces over evil forces various forms with great zeal and enthusiasm. It spans for 10 days and is celebrated in varied traditions across India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh. Dussehra is celebrated, differently in different parts of the country, depending upon the legend that is followed in each region. People all over the country participate in the occasion in their own way. Even though festive celebrated in different ways across India, the motive remains the same – to spread good cheer and celebrate the victory of good over the evil.
Vijayadashmi (‘Vijay’ means ‘victory’ and ‘Dashmi means ‘tenth day’). Mythology states on this day that Lord Rama killed the demon-king, Ravana and rescued his abducted wife – Sita. In other words, symbolizes the victory of Good over Evil.
Mythology also states that Goddess Durga, a combined manifestation of the divine energies of the Holy Trinity – Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh and all the other devatas, when they summoned her to kill the mighty demon known as Mahishasura and freed the world from his terror and on Dussehra Goddess Durga won the battle over the demon Mahishasur.
The Mahabharata is another series of Hindu mythology says it’s the day when Agyatawas of Pandavas got over.
All the above stories symbolize the victory of mankind. That is why this day is held in high regard by people who believe that whenever there will be chaos in the society and evil will try to take over humanity, God will appear in a the form of saviour to protect his devotees.
It is also interesting to know and very few people are aware that this day is also celebrated as “Ashok Vijayadashmi” since the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka is believed to have converted to Buddhism on this day. Ashok Vijaya Dashmi is being celebrated all over India by the followers of Dr.Babasaheb Ambedkar.
Since this festival is celebrated across the country in different ways, Bengalis celebrate Dusshera as a part of their main festival – Durga Puja. Similar customs are seen in Orissa and Assam. In the North-eastern state of Tripura, huge fairs are conducted and effigies of Ravana, burnt at Ramlila maidans. In the southern states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala, Vijayadashmi is considered auspicious for starting education or any form of art, such as dance and music. Saraswati Puja is conducted on this day. The Dusshera of Mysore is very famous in terms of grandeur and splendour. Each region of the country has its own specialty in the celebrations. While at some places people engage in public processions. At many places in the country, colourful fairs and exhibitions are also organized on this occasion.
The Vijayadashami or Dussehra festival holds tremendous cultural significance and we simply symbolize the power of goodness and humanity is above all kind of powers. For all who live on this land – irrespective of their caste, creed or religion – the festival should be celebrated with gaiety and love.