Dussehra (Dasara), also known as Vijaya Dashami, is a famous Hindu festival that seeks to celebrate the victory of good over evil.Dussehra is one of the greatest Hindu festivals celebrated on the tenth day of Shukla Paksh in the month of Ashwin and is celebrated in a variety of ways in India and the neighboring countries where Hinduism is followed.
Dussehra words is derived from two words Dus meaning ten and Hara meaning defeat symbolizing the slaying of the ten headed demon king Ravana by the lord Rama , the seventh incamation of lord Vishnu.
The festival of Dussehra has been declared by the government of India as the gazetted holiday to allow people to fully enjoy this festival as well as giving importance to the Hindu festival. This festival commemorates the victory of good over evil as it is the day when Lord Rama had killed the demon king Ravana. Lord Rama had killed Ravana because he had kidnapped the Mata Seeta and was not agree to return her to the Lord Rama. Lord Rama had won the war with Ravana by the help of younger brother Lakshman and Vanar soldier of Hanuman.
According to the Hindu Scripture, Ramayana, it is mentioned that Lord Ram had performed Chandi Hom to make goddess Durga happy and get blessings. In this way Lord Rama, got victory by knowing the secret of Ravana’s killing on 10th day of the war. Finally, he retained his wife Seeta safely after killing the Ravana. The glorious victory of good and Rama, Lakshman, Sita,and Hanuman’s homecoming was celebrated with great happiness, which continues to be followed by Hindus to the date in form of Dussehra.
Dussehra festival is also known as the Durgotsav because it is considered that on the same day another demon called Mahishasura was killed by the Mata Durga on the tenth day.
Fairs and melas are held with huge display of effigies of Ravana (the mythical king of ancient Sri Lanka) on the day. The effigies are later burnt on bonfires, while the crowd burst into cheers.
Every year, plays are performed in different parts of the country, which re-enacts Hindu deity Rama’s battle to kill the 10-headed demon king Ravana. Ramleela play is one of the oldest and most popular acts in India, and is performed at different part of country. Hundreds of people flock to watch the play, which is based on the epic Ramayana.