A carnival of divinity, Dussehra or Vijayadashami is one of the most widely celebrated festival in the northern regions of the Indian subcontinent and even in some parts of Eastern India. Coinciding with the immersion of Goddess Durga in the eastern state of West Bengal, Dussehra is a commemoration of the slaying of Ravana by Lord Rama, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu on earth. The day is celebrated by heart felt merry-making and exchange of divine gifts by beloved ones in the family and among friends.
What legends portray?
Legends are what form the base of the cultural platform of any religion as a whole. Dussehra too has a collection of legendary stories that follow and let you have an insight to what led to the celebrations.
The prime legend that finds its significance is the slaying of the evil Ravana, a ten-headed demon. It is said that Lord Rama sought the blessings of the divine Goddess Durga to help him slay Ravana. It is only after hard penance and a nine-day long fasting that Goddess Durga finally bestowed the Supreme knowledge of killing Ravana to Rama. It is the day of Ravana’s killing that is celebrated as Dussehra by thousands of Hindu devotees.
Hindu mythology does have another side to it, where the day symbolises the victory of Goddess Durga over Mahisasura. The celebration of Durga’s homecoming does coincide with the festivals of Navaratri and Dussehra. If we take a closer look at it, both the events stand tall as a symbol of the triumph of good over evil.
Dussehra in Delhi – A larger than life experience
Believe it or not but Dussehra is one festival that is celebrated with amongst great revelry with an added tint of zeal to it. One of the prime festivals among the North Indians, Delhi is one place that boasts of an astounding level of fanfare when it comes to the Dussehra celebrations. In fact, a visit to Delhi will help you have a larger than life experience with the amazing events of Ram Leela that are generally organised by several individual committees out there. These are events that showcase the entire Ramayana and the slaying of Ravana, in a theatrical form out to thousands of spectators and bystanders who accumulate for the purpose.
Another significant speciality of the North Indian Dussehra is the plucking of budded barley seeds that farmers generally tend to sow during the Navaratri. A fiesta of sorts, Dussehra ushers out pessimism that surrounds us and bring about a new ray of positivity all around. Acquisition of crystal divine gifts and gifts of various other kinds are distributed among beloved ones. However, feasting is not something that is meant to be left behind. There is no denying the fact that the ultimate end note to a festival is through a hearty meal!