Dussehra - Vijayadashmi - Fairs and Festivals in
One of the big festivals
celebrated in most parts of India is Vijayadashmi or Dussehra. The
festival is celebrated with zest and festivities as it also marks the
beginning of the winter season after the long, unbearable, hot summer. Dussehra marks the victory of Ram over the demon king Ravana, and the
rescue of his wife Sita. In north India, gigantic effigies of the
ten-headed Ravana and his brothers are set aflame amidst bursting of
crackers. Fairs are usually held on this occasion with lots to eat,
buy and enjoy.
Dussehra means the Tenth Day, being the 10th day of the bright half of
Ashvin. This day is also known as Vijayadashmi, or the Victory Tenth,
because of the victory of Ram over Ravana.
Dussehra is one of the significant Hindu festivals, celebrated with
much joy and happiness in the entire country. The occasion marks the
triumph of Lord Ram over Ravana, the victory of good over evil.
Brilliantly decorated tableaux and processions depicting various
episodes from Ram's life are taken out. On the tenth day, or the
Vijayadasami, colossal effigies of Ravana, his brother Kumbhkarna and
son Meghnad are placed in vast open spaces. Actors dressed as Ram, his
consort Sita, and brother Lakshman arrive and shoot arrows of fire at
these effigies, which are stuffed with firecrackers. The result is a
deafening blast, and an explosion of sound and light enhanced by the
shouts of merriment and triumph of the spectators.
Also part of the celebration is the Ram Lila or the dramatic episodes
from the lives of Ram, Sita, and Lakshman. All the regions across the
country have evolved their own distinctive style, and performances at
different places are done in the local language.
Dussehra is also known as Vijaya Dasami, because of the victory of Ram
over Ravana. On this day in Satya Yug, Ram (the eighth incarnation of
Lord Vishnu), killed the great demon and king of Lanka, Ravana.
Puranas also opined that in this day warrior Goddess Durga defeated
and killed the buffalo demon Mahishasura.