Dussehra or Vijayadashmi is a major festival celebrated by people following Hindu religion in the month of Ashwin according to Hindu calendar. The particular day for this festival falls on the 10th day of the Ashwin month. The festival is observed with full fun and entertainment. Two important mythologies are associated with the celebration of this auspicious festival:
• Goddess Durga victory over the demon Mahishasura
• Lord Rama’s victory over the demon Ravana
Dussehra is derived from Sanskrit word Dasha-hara which literally means removal of ten. Vijayadashmi too is a Sanskrit word which means the victory on the dashmi. The festival is celebrated in all regions of the nation such as Northern, Southern, Western, Eastern and Northeast. Being India a diverse country the festival is celebrated in different manner but the theme of the celebration “VICTORY OVER THE DEMON” remains same.
Celebration in Northern India –
Especially in New Delhi, Dussehra is celebrated with great enthusiasm. Celebration in Delhi is not complete with plays and dance performances of Ramaleela which depicts the whole life of Lord Rama. Giant effigies of Ravana, Kumbhakaran and Meghnath are set up in open ground and after completion of religious play Ramaleela, these huge effigies are burnt. Five popular Ramaleela shows organized in the city are Shri Ram Lila Committee, Shri Dharmic Leela Committee, Lav Kush Ram Lila Committee, Nav Shri Dharmik Leela Committee and Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra.
Celebration in Eastern India –
In eastern part of India Dussehra is celebrated in the form of DURGA PUJA for ten days with great zeal. Especially in West Bengal during this festival deities of Goddess Durga is worshipped in every home and spacious area organized by different committee. On the tenth day i.e Vijaya Dashami day idol of goddess is immersed in the river. During the celebration numbers of gorgeous pandals (temporary structure of goddess Durga) are erected in every part of the city and people offer prayers for 10 days continuously. Married women offer SINDUR on the forehead of the goddess and women play Sindur Holi.
Celebration in Western India –
Like other states Maharashtra also celebrated this festival for 10 days but in slightly different way devotees worship the Apta tree (Scientific name: Bauhinia racemosa) and exchange its green leaves amongst them as a symbol of good wishing for the prosperous future life. Leaf of Apta tree is known as Golden Leaf. During this festival homes are decorated with Marigold flowers. On this auspicious day people also cross the boundary of their community, this ceremony is called as Simollanghan with the idea of starting new ventures. In ancient times Dussehra marks the beginning of War Season.
Celebration in Southern India –
The festival also celebrated in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Like other regions they also worship goddess Durga (Chamundeshwari in South Indian) and display toy exhibition which is known as Golu in Tamil Nadu, Bommala Koluvu in Andhra Pradesh and Bombe Habba in Karnataka.
Celebration in Northeast India –
Manipur situated in the corner of northeastern region India also celebrates Dussehra like other states of the Nation. Here the festival is known as Durga Puja. People who follow Hindu religion pray goddess Durga and another ethnic group of Manipuri people follow ‘Sanamahi’ and worship goddess Panthoibi during five days festival. The 2nd day of festival is the important one and it is called as BORNUMIT (Boon Day), on this auspicious day thousands of devotee visit Hiyangthang Lairembi Mandir to seek blessing of goddess Durga.
This year 2013 ‘DUSSEHRA’ is falling on Monday, October 14, celebrate the day with devotion, spirituality and enthusiasm. If you are planning India tour, the festive occasion of Dussehra would be the high time to visit India.
The entire team of “GO HERITAGE INDIA JOURNEYS” wishes you ‘A BLISSFUL DUSSEHRA’.