THE DUSSEHRA FESTIVAL
Dussehra is one of the most important festivals of India. It is celebrated throughout the country. It is celebrated for the victory over evil. It always comes in the month of October and it continues for ten days.
In north it continues for ten days that is why it is known as Dussehra. People perform their rituals and Durga Pooja for first nine days continuously. It is said that they perform it to remove their sins. On the other hand it is said that on this day Lord Rama conquered Ravana. Rama is the symbol of goodness and Ravana is the symbol of evil. So it is the thought that on this day goddess wins over evil and people rejoice the day as Dussehra.
In the eastern and southern parts of India Ravana worshipped as he was the most learned and the wisest man. There goddess Durga is also worshipped in all these ten days. This is known as Durga Pooja or Nav rathiri became goddess Durga fought with demons for nine days and nights and got victory on the tenth day. It is called “vijayadashami”.
People celebrate these days very joyfully. In the most of the parts of every city, epic Ramayana is played as a drama. It is called “Ramlila”. Everybody enjoys it but children enjoy the most. They learn the lesson of goodness, discipline, duty and obedience by seeing the character of Rama. On the tenth day effigies of Ravana, Kumbha Karana and Meghnath are burnt. These effigies are fixed with fire crackers when they lit fire they make a loud noise. That place is known as Ramlila Ground. A very fine fair is held there. People go there on this day in their colourful and enjoy a lot.
In eastern and western parts people worship the idols of Devi Durga for nine days and on the day of Vijayadashami they take them to immerse in the rivers. They take them in the form of procession. They sing bhajans and do dances while taking them to the river. In south India people make the dolls and images dolls Durga in a life like manner and celebrate as Devi Nav Ratna festival.
People enjoy this day very much. They go temple to temple and say prayers. They take bath in the sacred rivers. They also visit their friends and relatives and make merry. In some parts vehicles and arms are also worshipped on this day.
So this is how the festival is celebrated. It is really a day of triumph of good over evil. It is a blinding of religious, social and cultural values.