Dussehra 2022: Meaning, significance, celebrations, and more
Also known as Vijayadashami, Dussehra marks the triumph of good over evil. It falls on the tenth day of Sharad Navratri and is celebrated with much pomp and show across the country. While people in North India associate it with the epic battle of Ramayana, West Bengal commemorates the day as the end of Durga Puja. Here's everything you need to know about Dussehra.
Dussehra is all about the victory of good over evil
In some parts of the country, particularly in West Bengal, Dussehra marks the end of Durga Puja. Some believe that the Goddess slayed the evil king Mahishasur on this day after a nine-day-long battle. North India celebrates the day as Lord Rama's triumph over Ravana, the King of Lanka. The festival of Diwali is celebrated 20 days after Dussehra to mark the Lord's homecoming.
People in North India organize Ramlila, burn effigies of Ravana
In North India, Dussehra is celebrated with much fanfare. People host and watch Ramleela, an enactment of Lord Rama's story and the battle with Ravana. Additionally, on this festival, people burn effigies of Ravana along with those of Kumbhkaran and Meghnad. This day also gives people an opportunity to introspect and get rid of their sins and bad qualities.
Ravana's 10 heads symbolize different qualities that we must overcome
Ravana chopped off his head 10 times as a sacrifice to please Lord Brahma, but a new one appeared each time. Each of his 10 heads symbolize of a quality -- kaam (lust), krodh (anger), lobh (greed), moh (obsession), mada (vanity), maatsarya (envy), ahankaara (ego), chitta (will), manas (heart), and buddhi (mind). His 10 heads also symbolize the six shastras and four vedas.
Devotees in Bengal bid adieu to Maa Durga's idols today
On Vijayadashami, devotees immerse Maa Durga's idols in water either during aparahna time or pratahkala. They hope that the Goddess keeps an eye on them while warding off all evils and miseries. The day also sees sindoor khela among married women, warm embraces, and the distribution of sweets, with the hopeful chants of ashchhe bochhor abar hobe, meaning it will happen again next year.
This year's grandest Ravana dahan is happening at these places
Ayodhya, the birthplace of Lord Rama, witnesses the grandest ever Dussehra celebration. Kasturchand Park in Nagpur is all set to burn a 55 feet effigy of Ravana and Kumbhkarana, and 45 feet of Meghnad this year. Delhi's Ram Leela Maidan is the oldest known venue for the Dussehra celebration. Effigies in Ranchi's Morabadi Ground will be waterproof this year, fearing rain.