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Vijaya Dashami / Dussehra

Vijaya Dashami / Dussehra

The Hindu festival of Vijaya Dashami is celebrated in commemoration of the death of the demon Mahishasura from the hands of Goddess Shakti. Also known as Dussehra, it also commemorates for the significant event of death of Ravan by Lord Ram.

Vijay Dashasmi / Dussehra Festival 2013 is to be celebrated in India in the night of October 13, 2013. However, if anyone intends to do some pooja/ worship etc. specific to Dashami Tithi, it is to be performed on the morning of October 14, 2013.

Time of Celebration
Vijaya Dashami or Dussehra is celebrated after the observance of the nine-day period of Sharada Navratri. Precisely, it falls on the tenth day of the bright fortnight of the month of Ashwin of Hindu calendar. In Georgian calendar, it usually falls either in the month of September or October. This day brings an end to the prolonged festivities which get initiated with the Sharada Navratri, and at the same time marks the beginning of preparation for another prominent Hindu festival of Diwali.

Amongst varied Hindu festivals celebrated across the year, it is considered as one of the most prominent and popular ones. Its significance is such that it is counted as one amongst the three and a half Muhurts (extremely auspicious moments) of the year. As already stated, it follows the period of Navratri. It is believed that during that period of Navratri, Goddess Durga gains control over the entire existence in absoluteness by saturating all ten directions. The tenth day is celebrated in adoration of her unsurpassed strength. Followers of Hindu religion all across the world, and more prominently in India, Nepal, and Bangladesh celebrate this festival with utter enthusiasm and joy.

According to legends, it is on the day before that of Vijaya Dashami that Goddess Shakti, the supreme manifestation of strength and courage, beheaded the demon buffalo, Mahishasura to liberate creation as well as heaven from his agony. This day of festival is for celebrating that victory.

The term of Dussehra, if split into two, pops out the terms of ‘Dus’ and ‘Hera’, which defines for the cutting of the ten heads of Ravan. According to legend, Ravan, the king of Lanka, abducted and detained Mata Sita, wife of Lord Ram (the eighth incarnation of Lord Vishnu), in Lanka when Lord Ram along with his brother Laxman and wife Sita were abiding by their period of Vanvaas (banishment) of fourteen years. In order to get her back, Lord Ram along with his brother Laxman, his ardent devotee Hanuman, and an army of monkeys battled Lanka king and his entire army for ten days. On the last day of the battle, when Ravan and Lord Rama came head to head, Lord beheaded the ten heads of Ravan and killed him to bring an end to the battle, and rescue Mata Sita. The last day, when Lord Ram triumphed over Ravan, is celebrated as Dussehra.

According to another legend, this day also marks the conclusion of the exile and banishment period abided by Pandavas and their return to their kingdom.

 Rituals and Celebrations
1. Dussehra immediately follows the festive period of Sharada Navratri. Right from the initiation of Navratri, different communities in their own capacities organize Ramlila, in which plays based on Ramayana depicting significant events from the life of Lord Ram are staged. Actors and actresses are enrolled in to play different characters, including those of Lord Ram, Mata Sita, Lord Hanuman, and Ravan. Over the years, the way Ramlila is staged has gone through tremendous changes, in specifically in major cities. Technology has been roped in to make the entire thing look more attractive and influential.

2. Ramlila gets concluded with the arrival of the day of Dussehra. On this day, life-size effigies of Ravan, his brother Kumbhkaran, and his son Meghnath are made to stand in big-size vacant lands. The preparations for creating these effigies go on for several days before they arrive in on this day for their ultimate conclusion. In the evening, amidst the presence of thousands of spectators, the actor playing the role of Ram or someone significant from the locality shoot fires on the three effigies to make them burn. As they burn, people rejoice and retain the essence that ultimately it is the good that prevails over the evil, no matter how powerful or intense an evil may be. With the burning of the effigy, one should also let all the evils stabled within and around get burnt for once and for all.

3. As a part of celebrations for Vijaya Dashami, people in specifically Bengalis offer devoted prayers to Goddess Durga. Special pandals (impermanent community places for worship and celebrations) are put in place on the occasion by communities in which celebrations go on for prolong period. People pray to Goddess Durga for getting conferred with her blessings. Also, they pray her to extract out all their evils and negativities off them.

4. According to a ritual, different instruments and tools that different people brought in use are worshipped on this day. People belonging to Kshatriyas make sure to worship their weapons. Also, there is a ritual of distributing Shami leaves on this day, which are considered to be nothing short of gold on this day.All the information given above are of general nature only, collected and reproduced for the general information only. However, if you want some specific, exclusive and deep information, you may avail our specially designed services, for satisfying your thirst of knowledge.

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