Dussehra is the climax of Navaratri in India. Famously known as Vijaya Dashami, Dussehra celebrations are carried out with incredible eagerness in various parts of India.
India is truly a diverse country and that can be seen in the various ways that Dussehra is celebrated across the nation. The way of celebrations depends on the local legend that revolves around Dussehra. Find out about the festivals of Dussehra in various parts of India here at 123NewYear.
In North India:
Ramlila makes up the foundation for the festival of Dussehra in northern India, where the scenes from Rama’s life are illustrated, particularly Bharat Milap, the portion when Lord Rama is reunited with his sibling Bharat, the downfall of Ravana (the center point of Dussehra) and the arrival of Lord Rama, Lakshmana and Mata Sita to Ayodhya, their kingdom after a period of fourteen years that they spent in exile.
Region Specific Celebrations:
- In Himachal Pradesh’s Kullu valley, the Dussehra celebration takes place over a week. It includes every deity of every village in the hills taking part in a wonderful parade. The deities are at first brought to the “maidan” in Kullu where respects are paid to Raghunathji. From here the huge procession starts after mounting all the deities on colorful palanquins. Apart from this Ramlila is the next greatest attraction of Dussehra celebration in Kullu.
- In Delhi and close-by states, “larger than life” representations of Ravana, Meghnath and Kumbhkaran are scorched in Ramlila, a mela that is arranged by various boards of trustees, at tremendous grounds.
In South India
Region specific Celebrations:
- In Tamil Nadu, the nine days prior to Dussehra have been divided to worship of the three Goddesses:
- Mata Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth who bestows prosperity to all
- Mata Saraswati, the Goddess of knowledge and art forms
- Mata Durga, the Mother Goddess, Shakti
The ladies and offspring of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka organize for little statues and dolls, commonly called ‘Bommai Kolu’. They place these on artificial steps and decorate the steps and other places with lamps and flowers. The celebrations include the preparation of a dish made with chickpeas called ‘choondal’ that is offered as Prasad to the dolls. On Vijayadashami, Bommai Kolu is brought down ceremoniously.
- A Similar kind of celebration is seen in Kerala as well.
- Mysore is famous for its grand and lavish procession that features embellished elephants on the splendidly lit roads of the city on the occasion of Dussehra.
- In Andhra Pradesh, Dussehra is famously known as Dasara.
In East India
Region specific Celebrations:
- In West Bengal, Vijayadashami is observed as the triumph of Goddess Durga over the demon known as Mahishasura. The celebration of this triumph is celebrated over 10 days and is known as Durga Puja. On Vijayadashami, the last day of the festival, the idol of Ma Durga is submerged in the Ganga, any stream or lake. This is called visarjan (immersion of deity).
- In Orissa, Vijoya Dashami is celebrated on the last day of Sharodiya Durga Puja. After Aparajita Puja is offered to the Goddess, the Goddess’s deity is submerged through a ceremony called ‘Bisarjan Jatra’. After that people in Orissa burn the model of Ravana. This is known as ‘Ravan Podi’
In West India
In Maharashtra, Dussehra is usually observed on the tenth day of the Ashwin month, according to the Shaka Hindu Calendar.
Different Legends and Celebrations related to Dussehra in West India
- Usually on the last day of Navratri, idols that were being worshipped from the first day of Navratri are submerged in water. Dussehra is the mark of Lord Rama’s triumph over the demon Ravana. Aapta tree is worshipped by all on this day. An auspicious belief is that exchanging leaves of aapta tree on this day brings prosperity and happiness.
- Another popular belief is that it was on this day the Pandavas of Mahabharata recovered their weapons from Shami tree, where they had hidden it in their 12 years of exile. So this day is considered to be a good day to start new endeavors among all Maharashtrians.