The famous festival of ‘Dussehra’, also known as ‘Navarathri’ is celebrated all across India in different ways in different states with full enthusiasm. Also, the custom and traditions of celebration of Dussehra differ from state to state; the main motive behind every Hindu celebrating this festival remains to celebrate the victory of good over evil. The following 15 interesting facts are the must know about the popular festival of ‘Dussehra’.
1. The festival of Dussehra signifies the victory of good over evil. It marks the victory of Goddess Durga over the demon Mahishasura on the tenth day of the lunar calendar. Mahishasura was the king of demons, who was very powerful during his period and tortured the innocent people. At the time Goddess Parvathi took the powers of Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwara and destroys Mahishasura.
2. It is also known as ‘Navarathri’, which means nine nights. It is said that the God fought against evil for nine nights and ten days.
3. The Vijayadashami of Dussehra signifies the victory on the tenth day.
4. Dussehra is derived from the Sanskrit word Dasha and Hara, which means defeat of the Sun. It has been told that the Sun would not have arisen if Rama had not destroyed Ravana.
5. The making of a model of Ravana is the primary custom of this festival as it represents destroying all the evils that are represented by ten heads of Ravana.
6. The defeat of Ravana on the tenth day is celebrated in open grounds with crackers and fireworks. People dress up like Rama and Lakshmana and then shoot fire tipped arrows on the model of Ravana, thus stating the destruction of Ravana.
7. The festival of Dussehra started during the 17th century when the king of Mysore ordered his people in kingdom to celebrate the festival in a grand manner. Then onwards it is popularly celebrated as ‘Mysoru Dasara’ even today in the city of Mysore in Karnataka.
8. Apart from India, this festival is celebrated even in Bangladesh and Nepal.
9. In Tamilnadu, it is called ‘Kolu’. People arrange hundreds of idols/dolls portraying different themes like wedding, trade, jungle, etc, along with the idols of God on wood/steel stair that is specially built for this purpose. They display it in quite a spectacular way to look like a museum at home.
10. In West Bengal, Durga Pooja is celebrated during the same time. The idols of Durga killing the demon are built and displayed in the temples. They worship these idols for five days and then place them in the river.
11. Gujarat and Mumbai are popularly known for the Garba that is performed every night on all the nine days. Garba is a form of dance that is done by forming a circle. Traditionally, the dance is performed by placing a clay lantern in the center that represents the Devi. And each human around this lantern represent different forms of energy within them.
12. During the Dussehra, in South India, people worship Goddess Saraswati on one of these days. Along with the Idols/tools as mentioned above, they also place the idol of Saraswati, books and musical instruments and others that signify knowledge and follow the ritual of worshipping the Goddess Saraswati.
13. On the ninth day of Dussehra, on the day of ‘Ayudha Pooja’, people solicited the blessing of their weapons and tools that they used in their daily life. This custom is followed even today, by worshipping computers, cars and vehicles as these come in great use for us in our daily lives.
14. Another interesting fact about Dussehra is that it also signifies the change of season, during when the hot summer ends thus welcoming cool and pleasant winter season. It is also the time for harvesting the new crops.
15. The most astonishing fact about Dussehra is King Ashoka converted himself into Buddhist on this day and on the same day Dr Ambedkar also converted himself to the Buddhist religion.
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