Dussehra: The Festival of Victory
Every year at the end of Navratri, Hindus celebrate Dussehra, also called Vijayadashami. In the Hindu Luni-Solar Calendar, it is observed on the tenth day of Ashvin, the seventh month. The celebration usually takes place in September and October of the Gregorian calendar.
The literal translation of Vijayadashami is “victory on the tenth day.” It is a holiday observed in various ways across the nation to commemorate the victory of good over evil.
Why is Dussehra also called Vijayadashami?
Vijayadashami, another name for Dussehra, has two main meanings.
The victory of Lord Rama over Ravana: Hindus state that the celebration of Dussehra commemorates Lord Rama’s victory over the ten-headed demon king Ravana. After Sita was kidnapped by Ravana, Rama battled him for ten days in order to free her. Rama killed Ravana and saved Sita on the tenth day.
Goddess Durga’s victory over Mahishasura: Goddess Durga’s victory over the buffalo demon Mahishasura is another well-known Hindu myth connected to Dussehra.
A formidable demon known as Mahishasura had terrorized the entire world. Durga granted the prayers of the gods and goddesses by vanquishing him. After nine days and nights of battle, Durga killed Mahishasura on the tenth day.
Significance of Vijayadashami
For Hindus, Vijayadashami is a great festival that commemorates the victory of good over evil. It serves as a reminder that good always wins over evil, despite what seems to be the power of the second.
The celebration is also observed as a representation of fresh starts. It’s time to move on from the past and make new beginnings. Vijayadashami is a time to rejoice over conquering one’s own inner demons as well.
Read more on the Significance of Dussehra in our article, What Is The Significance Of Vijayadashami Celebration?
How is Vijayadashami celebrated?
In India, Vijayadashami is observed with great excitement and pomp. When at a temple, worshippers make prayers to the gods and goddesses. On this day, many people fast as well.
Ravana effigies are burned in some regions of India as a sign that good has won over evil. Furthermore, individuals sing and dance celebrating the festival.
It is common for families and friends to get together on Vijayadashami to celebrate. It’s a time to celebrate good over evil and to make a fresh start.