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October 12

Dusshera, Ravan Dahan

Dussehra, also known as Vijaya Dashami, is celebrated at the end of Navratri each year. It typically falls in the month of Ashwin (September or October) according to the Hindu lunar calendar.

The term Dussehra is derived from Sanskrit words “Dasha” + “hara”, meaning “remover of bad fate”. It marks the victory of good over evil, as it commemorates two significant events: the victory of Lord Rama over the demon king Ravana, as told in the epic Ramayana, and the victory of Goddess Durga over the buffalo demon Mahishasura.

In Northern, Southern, and Western India, Dussehra is celebrated with great fanfare to commemorate Lord Rama’s victory. Effigies of Ravana, his brother Kumbhakarna, and son Meghnad are filled with fireworks and set ablaze, symbolizing the destruction of evil.

In Eastern India, particularly in West Bengal, Dussehra is observed as the end of Durga Puja, when idols of Goddess Durga are immersed in bodies of water, symbolizing her return to her celestial abode.

Dussehra is also considered an auspicious time to begin new ventures, make new purchases, and learn new skills. In parts of Southern India, it is customary to arrange dolls (Bommai Kolu) on stepped platforms, and the day is also associated with the worship of Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge, language, music, and all arts.

Dussehra serves as a reminder of the power of truth, virtue, and righteousness, and is a celebration of the eventual victory of good over evil.


October 12
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