Stories Behind Celebration of Dussehra or Dasara Festival
There are several mythological important stories behind celebration of Dussehra festival in all over India. The festival of Dussehra signifies the victory of good over evil. Here are explain more about the importance and celebration of Dussehra festival and why Dussehra is celebrated on such a large scale.
Dussehra or Dasara is also called Vijayadashami and is celebrated as victory of Goddess Durga over the demon Mahisasura. The festival of Dussehra falls in lunar month of Ashwina (September or October) of the English calendar. In face the main message that it gives is victory of good over the evil and success of truth over lies.
Why is Dussehra celebrated?
According to one legend, the story begins from Navratri festival continues for ten days and Dussehra is the tenth day. It is believed that there was a time when demons become powerful and created destruction on earth. The gods could not do much to control their. Mahishasura was the most powerful demon.
In a proposal to kill him, the gods got together and combined their energies that gave rise to Durga. She sat on a lion and fought with Mahishasura for nine nights and finally mahisasura was killed by the Goddess Durga on the tenth day. This day marks the celebration of Dasara which is preceded by Navratri.
Story from Hindu epic Ramayana-
According to the great Hindu epic Ramayana, Lord Ram killed Ravana on the tenth day that is Dussehra. It is called as triumph of virtue over sin or immorality. Ravana is said to have abducted Ram’s wife, Sita and was also known as a dictating ruler. The end evil spirit as he was a demon by birth too.
Story from Hindu epic Mahabharata-
According to the great Hindu epic Mahabharata the Pandavas fight evil forces with a set of distinctive weapons. They hid their weapons in a Shami tree and found them at the same place when they returned from exiled. They then worshipped the tree before going to a battle which they won. This epic is also commemorated during Dussehra.
How Dussehra is celebrated in India?
Dussehra Celebration in North India
In North Indian people celebrate Dussehra, by burning the effigy of Ravana it is the commencement of the play based on the epic Ramayana. It is the final day and there is usually a fete organized and enjoyed by people. A charior carrying Ram, Sita and Lakshaman passes through the crowd and the person enacting Ram aims an arrow to burn the effigies one by one.
Dussehra Celebration in Gujarat
Men and Women gather and dance every night of the Navratri and even lot of competitions and shows are organized on this occasion. The songs are usually devotional ones and the dance form is called Garba. Women in their best of attires surround beautifully decorated earthen pots and dance till date night. In many places Garba starts late at night and continue till dawn.
Dussehra Celebration in South India
In South India the day of Navratri are equally divided to worship three goddesses Lakshmi, Saraswati and Durga. They decorate their houses and steps with lamps and flowers in the evenings. Dussehra festival of Mysore is well known and is celebrated in its own style with pomp and pageantry.
There are many stories associated with the festival of Dussehra. No matter what the stories are, festivals in India convey the message of benevolence, peace and love. If the people kept in mind the beautiful and meaningful messages throughout the year it would have been peace and harmony all around.
However, in India festivals are celebrated by all Indians, regardless of being a Hindu or belonging to any other religion. There is a spirit of brotherhood seen during festival seasons.