Dussehra Or Vijayadashami - History & Why Celebrated

Dussehra or Vijayadashami in India : Saturday, October 4, 2014

A brief History about Dussehra
Dussehra, also known as Vijayadashmi, is celebrated about twenty days before Diwali. This day marks the victory of virtuous Lord Rama over evil Ravana. There is a long story behind this festival. It is said that Lord Rama underwent exile (vanvaas) for a period of fourteen years, accompanied by his wife Goddess Sita and brother Lord Lakshman. During their fourtheenth year, Ravana – the king of Lanka, carried away Goddess Sita, with deceitful intentions. Thus Lord Ram battled for Goddess Sita yearlong and ultimately killed Ravana and freed his wife. Since then this day is celebrated as Dussehra through the length and breadth of India.

How Dussehra is celebrated
It is a ten day long festival. In these ten days big fairs are held. Usually these fairs start in the evening, and are full of lights, shopping stalls, and stalls of food and games. One can easily spot humungous effigies of Ravana, Kumbhakarna (brother of Ravana) and Meghnad (son of Ravana) at the center of the carnival. The center of attraction is the 10 day long stage play performed during late evenings. Here, the professional actors enact the drama based on the life of Lord Rama as depicted in Ramayana (a Hindu religion epic). Main characters are of Ram, Sita, Hanuman, Lakshman and Ravana. A large crowd is gathered every day in full zeal, to witness the story telling which they are following since their childhood. On the very last day, a battle scene is played where Lord Rama, with his aides, fights the evil army of Lanka and kills Ravana. To symbolize this victory all the three effigies are ignited. Within a few minutes these effigies are turned into ashes. These ashes are considered to be sacred and divine.

After the play is over, people return to their homes taking in their hearts great satisfaction and revival of the thought that there is always victory of good over evil. How tough or helpless the situation may be, but there is always a ray of hope and positivity somewhere attached to it that gives strength to the one who is virtuous and helps him/her win over the bad.

What to Purchase on Dussehra
When you are visiting one such carnival, always look for the local style made clothes, foot wears, home decors and other local items. There are loads of rides and fun activities to try. Kids will love balloons, toys and battle weapons made of wood.