Dussehra is a Hindu festival celebrated in the Hindu month of either Ashvin (6th month) or Kartik (7th month), according to the lunisolar Hindu calendar. The festival typically falling in the Gregorian months September-October also marks the end of the nine-day long Navratri festival. We have provided below a long essay on the Dussehra festival for you.
Different Shades of Dussehra
The beauty of Dussehra festival is that it is celebrated for different reasons in different parts of India; although with equal zeal and enthusiasm. A detailed description of how the festival is celebrated in different parts of India and the event/deity it commemorates is given below.
In the southern state of Karnataka, Dussehra is celebrated with reverence to Goddess Durga. Durga is worshipped as the warrior goddess, the slayer of demons, and evil forces. The day especially commemorates Durga’s slaying of buffalo demon Mahishasura.
In northern Indian, the festival commemorates the day when Lord Rama killed Ravana; hence; it is celebrated as the victory of truth over evil. Large effigies of Ravana are burned down in full public view and amid lots of grandeur and celebration.
Though, the Dussehra celebration in northern part of India is preceded by nine day long Navratri festival, which venerates nine incarnations of Goddess Durga every day.
Amazing Durga Pandals in West Bengal
Dussehra in West Bengal is celebrated with high religious fervor and passion. It is the most significant festival of West Bengal and usually called “Durga Puja”. The complete state gets dotted with large pandals at innumerable locations. Idols of Goddess Durga along with other deities are kept inside for the devotees.
Garbha in Gujarat
Garbha is a special dance performed on Dussehra in the western state of Gujarat. The dance is performed in cirles around a statue of Goddess Shakti or Durga or a bon fire.
Dussehra festival in Kullu Himachal Pradesh has its own uniqueness, in a way that it specifically venerates lord Raghunatha in a grand way. It is a grand international event in which nearly 4 to 5 lakh people take part every year. Festival commences on Dussehra day at Dholpur Maidan and continues for seven days.
Tamil Nadu Dussehra – Kulasekharapatnam
The festival of Navratri is the grandest festival celebrated in Sri Mutharamman temple in Kulasekharapatnam in Tamil Nadu. Over a million devotees gather here to celebrate Navratri.
Chattisgarh Unique celebration- Bastar
The people of Chattisgarh celebrate Dussehra in a unique way by celebrating nature and venerating local deity- Devi Danteshwari of Bastar. The rituals include pata jatra (worship of wood) and kachan gaddi (installation of throne of devi Kachan) etc.
Dussehra of Mysore is famous the world over for its grandeur and a grand procession. Thousands of tourists visit Mysore to see the famous Mysore palace lit up to its full gloom by colorful and decorative lights.
Significance of Dussehra
Dussehra is an ancient Hindu festival being celebrated since thousands of years. The celebrations are deeply rooted in Hindu religion and its belief that “Truth always Triumphs.”
Whether it celebrates the slaying of Mahishasura by Goddess Durga or Vadh of Ravana by Lord Rama; in both it signifies the victory of truth over evil. The philosophy of good always emerging victorious is the basic foundation of Hindu religion. Two significant Hindu texts – Ramayana and Mahabharata also sends the same message.
Celebrating Dussehra in whatever form, help us to look back on our religion and its values as well as reaffirm our centuries old believe that – In a battle of Good and Evil, Good always emerges victorious; therefore, it is our fundamental religious obligation to have no fear and stay good in conduct and thoughts.