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Dussehra

Dussehra is also known as Dashera, Dashahara, Navratri, Dashain, Durgotsav, Vijayadashami and Dashahara. It is largely observed by Hindus. The religious significance of Dussehra is celebrating victory of Lord Rama over Ravana, of Shakti over Mahishasura and of Durga over demons such as Chanda-Munda, Shumbha- Nishumbha and Madhu-Kaitav. In simple language, it is victory of good over evil. This auspicious day largely marks the perfect end of Durga puja. Some people indulge in the immersion of the idols of Durga in the sea and river. They go each others house and wholeheartedly exchange sweets and gifts.

The act of burning an effigy of Ravana, religious rituals, prayer and applying of tika on forehead are part and parcel of Dussehra festivity. This festival is celebrated across India, Bangladesh and Nepal. According to the Hindu religious scholars and pundits, “The name Dussehra is derived from Sanskrit Dasha-hara literally means removal of ten referring to Lord Rama’s victory over the ten-headed demon king Ravana.[1] The day also marks the victory of Goddess Durga over the demons Mahishasur. The name Vijayadashami is also derived from the Sanskrit words “Vijaya-dashmi” literally meaning the victory on the dashmi (Dashmi being the tenth lunar day of the Hindu calendar month).”

The religious significance of Dussehra are Kautsa’s Guru Dakshina, end of Agyatawas of Pandavas, homecoming of Durga Maata, victory of Durga Mata over Mahishasura and victory of God Rama over Ravana. The initial nine days are grandly celebrated as Sharada Navratri or Maha Navratri and it successfully culminates on the tenth day as Dasara. According to the Hindu lunisolar calendar, Dussehra falls on the tenth day of the month of Ashwin and as per the Gregorian calendar; it falls in September or October. Special pujas and rituals are conducted in all the temples that are largely dedicated to Goddess Durga.

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