New Delhi: Dussehra is derived from Sanskrit word Dasha Hara, which means destroyer of evil or the ten headed evil Ravana. Dussehra is a culmination of Navratra, devotional nine nights of Maa Durga. Dussehra is also popularly known as Vijayadashmi. This festival symbolizes victory of good over evil. Dussehra is celebrated throughout the nation with zeal and fervor. It teaches us that bad things never survive for long.
Dussehra is not just celebrated in India, but is hugely popular among Indians living abroad. Dusshera in different states of India is celebrated in different manner but the message of the festival remains the same. Dussehra is celebrated with great pomp and show in north India especially in West Bengal. Let us know how uniquely Dussehra is celebrated in some regions of India and its neighbouring countries.
Bengal, Orissa and Assam Dussehra
In these states, Dussehra is celebrated in the form of Durga Puja. It is a 5-day festival in Bengal whereas in Orrisa and Assam the celebrations last for 4 days. The statue of goddess Durga is made and established beautifully in Pandals on the fifth day. Durga puja is performed on the sashti, Saptami, Ashtami and Navami followed by a great Puja held on the tenth day. Women offer Sindoor on the forehead of the goddess and on each other. In this way Sindoor holi is played amongst the married women.
Dussehra of Kullu in Himachal Pradesh:
Dussehra in Kullu is significant as a festival, cultural celebration and tradition. One can experience a great zeal in the festival celebrated in Kullu on the last day of the Dashmi. It is celebrated in Dhalpur maidan in the Kullu valley. Dussehra at Kullu commences on the tenth day of the rising moon, i.e. on 'Vijaya Dashami' day itself and continues for seven days. Its history dates back to the 17th century when local King Jagat Singh installed an idol of Raghunath on his throne as a mark of penance. After this, god Raghunath was declared as the ruling deity of the Valley.
Dussehra of Mysore:
The Dussehra celebrated in Mysore is popular around the world. Dussehra celebrated in Mysore is a representative of great harmony between historical and religious culture. On this day, the entire city is decorated with flowers, diyas and bulbs. This city is famous for a gala procession of richly bedecked elephants on the brightly lit streets of the city on Dussehra. In Mysore, effigies of Ravana, Meghnath and Kumbhkaran are burnt. The Mysore palace is illuminated for a whole month during the festive season of Dussehra. Caparisoned elephants lead a colorful procession through the vibrantly decorated streets of the princely city. The legend associated with the Shami tree finds commemoration during the renowned Mysore Dasara & Navratri celebrations at Mysore. The Mysore celebrations also strongly emphasize the Durga legend described above, as may be expected in the city built at the very site of the events of the Durga legend. On Vijaydashami day, at the culmination of a colourful 10-day celebration, the goddess Chamundeshwari is worshiped and then borne in a grand procession on a Golden Ambari or elephant-mounted throne through the city of Mysore, from the historical Mysore Palace to the Banni Mantapa. Banni is the Kannada word for the Sanskrit Shami, and Mantapa means "Pavilion".
Dussehra of Gujarat
In Gujarat, Dussehra is celebrated in the form of Navratra. Garba, a folk dance of Gujarat is played during the nine days of Navratra. Garba dance is the main attraction of the festival as people gather at one place and dance to the tune of folk songs . After the Arti of the goddess, Garba is played throughout the night.
Dussehra of Maharashtra
In Maharashtra, nine days of the Navratra are dedicated to goddess Durga and on the tenth day goddess Saraswati is worshipped. This day is considered auspicious to start anything new.
Dussehra in Nepal and Mauritius
Dussehra is also celebrated in neighbouring countries with great enthusiasm. Other than India, it is also celebrated in countries like Nepal, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, China and Thailand. People consider Lord Ram as the greatest protagonist of Satyuga even today.
Dussehra festival is celebrated throughout the world with great zeal. The people of Nepal celebrate this festival in a wonderful way. Goddess Durga and Kali are worshipped for nine days and on the tenth day the king applies abeer, rice and curd on his people.
So, celebrate this pious festival with true devotion.