Vijayadashami also known as Dasahara, Dusshera, Dasara, Dussehra or Dashain is a major Hindu festival celebrated at the end of Navratri every year.
The festival that signifies the triumph of good over evil, Dussehra, is one of the most noteworthy Indian festivals. It is observed on the tenth day of Navaratri. This festival is celebrated to commemorate the victory of Lord Rama over the demon Ravana. This holy festival is the occasion to hold in the highest regards, the virtues of Lord Rama, who is believed to be an incarnation of Lord Vishnu Dussehra strengthens the vows of devotees to follow the path and deeds of Lord Rama.
Celebrating Dussehra in North India
Dussehra is normally celebrated by flaming the effigies of Ravana, Meghanatha, and Kumbhakarna. With this burning, the play Ramleela, displaying the story of Ramayana, also comes to an end. Generally, a fete is also organized for the people. Three individuals enacting Rama, Lakshamana and Sita sitting on a chariot, pass through the crowd. The artist performing Rama’s role aims the arrow in order to burn all the three effigies separately.
Celebrating Dussehra in South India
Dussehra is celebrated in a distinctive manner in the Southern part of India. On this festive day, toys and dolls are decorated in all the houses. This ritual had commenced from the abode of emperors in the erstwhile era. This day is popular as Gombe Habba in South India. In olden times, Dussehra was limited to the well-off people. However, it gained regard with time and reached to the common people as well.
Celebrating Dussehra in Gujarat
The people of Gujarat assemble and dance each night during Navaratri. Several competitions are held on the Dussehra festival and men and women perform a unique Gujarati dance ‘Garba’ on devotional songs. This dance continues until late at night. In various places, this dance continues even till the break of dawn. Women put on their best clothes and decorate earthen pots wonderfully.
Celebrating Dussehra in Mysore
In Mysore, several fairs and cultural performances are organized. The grand parade of bedecked elephants and guards sitting on horseback, escort the idol of Goddess through the city. This parade is the major highlight of the ten-day celebration of Dussehra in Mysore.
Celebrating Dussehra in Kullu
In Kullu, chariots are decorated with amazing hues. Goddess deities are taken around on these beautiful chariots and people dance with joy and elation to rejoice the festive day of Dussehra.