Let’s hit the basics, effigy of Ravana on tenth lunar day of the Hindu calendar month i.e Dashmi marking the victory of Good over Evil. As was in the epic Ramayana. Beyond this, there’s little we know of this holiday. So, here’s some points you should know about this sacred Hindu festival.
- The name Dussehra is itself derived from Sanskrit word Dasha-Hara which means “The sun will not rise”, analogy for Sun won’t rise until Lord Rama defeats Ravana.
- The reason for Dussehra also being called Vijayadashmi is that this festival is celebrated on the conclusion of the Durga Puja festival, which falls on the tenth day.
According to the legend, Goddess Durga visits her mother’s place during Durga Puja and she goes back to her home on Dussehra.
- There’s another theory, one of defeating Mahishasura who was the king of the asuras or demons. Powers of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh were combined to create ‘Shakti’. A battle waged between the demon and Shakti and it ended on the tenth day when the Goddess killed him. Hence, Vijaya-Dashmi.
- First grand celebration of Dussehra took place at some time in the 17th century at the behest of the King of Mysore.
- Dussehra also marks the change of season, as the hot summer comes to an end, making way for cool and pleasant winter season. Harvesting Kharif and planting Rabi crops.
- It’s not just India, Dussehra or Vijayadashami is also celebrated in neighbouring Bangladesh and Nepal. It’s also a religious holiday in Malaysia.
It’s said, Rama performed the Chandi Homa yajna to invoke the blessings of goddess Durga, who granted him the boon of the secret knowledge of the way to kill Ravana. Because apparently you don’t just go and defeat Ravana.