When: 11 October, 2016.
What: Dussehra Celebrations
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Celebrating the triumph of good over evil!
Dussehra or Vijaya Dashami, is a Hindu festival that celebrates the victory of good over evil. It is is marked on the 10th day of the bright half (Shukla Paksha) of the month of Ashvin, according to the Hindu calendar. Vijaydashmi celebrations honor the triumph of Lord Rama over Demon Ravana. It also symbolizes the triumph of warrior Goddess Durga over the buffalo demon, Mahishasura. Thus, it is a celebration of victory of good over evil. This celebration starts from Navratri and ends with the tenth day festival of “Dussehra”. Navratri and Dussehra is celebrated throughout the country at the same time, with varying rituals, but with great enthusiasm and energy as it marks the end of scorching summer and the start of winter season. The tenth day after Navratri is called Dussehra, on which number of fairs are organized throughout northern India, and effigies of Ravana are burned. It is also called “Vijaya Dashami” or “Vijayadasami” as this day marks the victory of Lord Rama over Ravana.
The Ramayana is one of the classic Hindu epics of India- a story of courage, loyalty and justice with deep religious significance which has been a great source of inspiration for artists throughout the centuries. Originally written in Sanskrit by the poet Valmiki more than two thousand years ago, the Ramayana tells of the many adventures and ordeals endured by the Rama during his fourteen years of exile. Banished to the forest, a long and laborious search for his beloved wife Sita who has been abducted by the cunning ten-headed demon king Ravana ensues, with help from his half-brother Lakshmana and an army of monkeys led by Hanuman. Many Indians see the hero Rama as a deity and still venerate him as one of the ten reincarnations of the god Vishnu. The ‘Ramlila’ – an enactment of the life of Lord Rama, is held during the nine days preceding Dussehra. On the tenth day (Dussehra or Vijay Dasami), larger effigies of Ravana, his son and brother – Meghnadh and Kumbhakarna are set to fire. The theatrical enactment of this dramatic encounter is held throughout the country in which every section of people participates enthusiastically. In burning the effigies the people are asked to burn the evil within them, and thus follow the path of truth and goodness, bearing in mind the instance of Ravana, who despite all his might and majesty was destroyed for his evil ways.