Dussehra, also known as Vijayadashmi isa Hindu festival which marks the end of Navaratri every year. It is an amalgamation of the two divine events. The victory of Lord Rama over Ravana and the triumph of Goddess Durga over demon Mahishasura. Dussehra is a reminder that good always triumphs over evil.
The festival’s name comes from two Sanskrit words, namely Dasha ( meaning “ten”) and hara (meaning “defeat”). The day witnesses great pomp and shows with a huge mela at places and actors show the life journey of the goddess.
Rituals and Ceremonies on Dussehra
A prominent event during the Dussehra festivities is “Ravan Dahan”. Towering effigies of king Ravana, his son Meghnad, and his brother Kumbhakaran blazed in fiery splendour. Dussehra emblematizes the triumph of good over evil.
Ram Leela Maidan at Delhi is the site for the public fiesta for Ravan Dahan. Here, the President, Prime Minister and other dignitaries visit as the guest on the auspicious occasion.
On this day of Dussehra, many stage plays of Ram Leela can be seen. The life of Lord Rama is a source of inspiration, hence actors dress beautifully to enact the story of Ramayana.
As this fiesta has its different forms across India, one of the most special is “Durga Pujo” among Bengalis, as they observe Bijoya Dashami. People take the idol of the goddess Durga in processions and immerse in the ghats. Married Bengali women smear red vermilion on each other’s faces, known as ” Shidur Khela” in Bangla.
This year Dussehra will be celebrated on Friday, October 15, 2021. It is the Dasham tithi of Ashwina Month Shukla Paksha of Hindu Calendar (Vikram Samvata 2078)
Dussehra marks the culmination of the nine-day long Navratri. For many people, Dussehra also makes way for the next big festival that is Diwali which will be celebrated on November 4, 2021. It usually falls 20 days after Dussehra.
दशहरा in Hindi
Dussehra Festivities during Pandemic
Dussehra celebrations will see a COVID appropriate behaviour this year. States and Puja committees prepare to scale down Durga puja amid Covid-19 disruptions. The organisers will make proper arrangements for people to go in a queue, which may stretch some 100 metres, in front of the pandal.
The festival in itself brews energy and spirit in the air. As Dussehra 2021 comes near, we see the same spirit fomenting. Let’s celebrate Dussehra with the same ebullience and pray for the well being of self and the world.