Navratri – the nine days of celebration of each form of Goddess Durga – culminates with Dusehra, the tenth day. It is also called as Vijayadashami, the day of victory. There are two mythological tales behind the celebration of
There are two mythological tales behind the celebration of the victory of good over evil. The first one is about Goddess Durga’s victory over demon Mahishasura.
The second is associated with Lord Ram, who fought a war for 10 days with Ravana in Lanka to bring back Sita. Ravana was killed by Ram on the tenth day, and is celebrated as Vijayadashami.
Dusehra celebration across India
The festival is celebrated in various ways across the country. In Kolkata, it is Durga Puja (or Pujo, as Bengalis call it). In Northern India, celebrations often include recital of the Ramayana as a Ramlila. Professional actors dress up and act out portions of the sacred text. The final act is the burning of Ravana’s effigy to signify victory over evil.
An artist dressed as the demon king Ravana performs during Ramlila. (Reuters)
In Southern India, the nine days of Navratri are celebrated with a display of gods and dolls called Golu. Sweets are prepared on each day of the celebration. Dussehra celebrations in Mysore are one of the most spectacular in the country. The Mysore Palace is illuminated and performances are organised.
In Maharashtra, families visit friends and offer the dried apta leaf, a symbol of prosperity. People also invest in gold and other expensive metals; it is believed that this will lead to prosperity all year round.
So, how are you celebrating Dussehra this year?