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Dussehra: Significance, Traditions, and Celebrations

By magicpin

Updated - Oct. 23, 2023 7 min read

Dussehra, the triumph of good over evil, is a festival deeply rooted in Indian culture. This joyous occasion not only marks the victory of Lord Rama over the demon king Ravana but also symbolizes the victory of light over darkness and knowledge over ignorance.


In this blog, we will delve into the profound significance of Dussehra, exploring its traditions, celebrations, and the cultural tapestry that makes it one of the most anticipated festivals in India.


1. Historical Significance:


Dussehra, also known as Vijayadashami, holds immense historical importance. It commemorates the day when Lord Rama vanquished the ten-headed demon king Ravana, reinforcing the belief that righteousness always prevails over malevolence.



  • Triumph of Good over Evil: Dussehra symbolizes the victory of righteousness (dharma) over evil (adharma). Lord Rama, often seen as the embodiment of virtue and moral values, represents the triumph of good over the malevolent forces embodied by Ravana.
  • Moral and Ethical Lessons: The Ramayana, with its central theme of virtue, duty, and devotion, serves as a guide for living a righteous life. Dussehra serves as a reminder of these essential values and the importance of upholding them in one's life.
  • Unity and Faith: Dussehra brings communities and families together in celebration. It fosters a sense of unity and faith in the victory of good, encouraging people to stand up against injustice and uphold moral principles.



2. Rituals and Traditions:


Dussehra is celebrated with various rituals and traditions. People decorate their homes, exchange sweets, and participate in Ramlila, a dramatic reenactment of the epic Ramayana. The festival also involves worshipping goddess Durga, symbolizing the divine feminine energy.



  • Ramlila Performances: The enactment of the epic Ramayana, known as Ramlila, is a prominent tradition during Dussehra. It involves actors portraying the characters from the Ramayana through plays or street performances.
  • Worshipping Goddess Durga: Many regions in India worship goddess Durga during Dussehra, seeking her blessings for prosperity and protection. This practice often involves setting up elaborate idols and performing elaborate rituals.
  • Burning Effigies: In several parts of India, effigies of the demon king Ravana, along with his brothers Meghnad and Kumbhakarna, are set ablaze to symbolize the victory of good (Lord Rama) over evil (Ravana).
  • Vijayadashami Puja: On the final day of Dussehra, Vijayadashami is celebrated. People perform special pujas (worship) to seek the blessings of the gods for success and good fortune.



3. Victory of Good over Evil:


At its core, Dussehra signifies the victory of good over evil. It serves as a reminder that no matter how daunting the challenges, righteousness and truthfulness will always prevail. This message of hope and positivity resonates deeply with people, making Dussehra a symbol of inspiration.



  • Historical Victory: Dussehra celebrates the historical victory of Lord Rama, a symbol of virtue, over the demon king Ravana, epitomizing the triumph of good over evil.
  • Goddess Durga: Dussehra also marks the end of Navaratri, a nine-night festival dedicated to Goddess Durga. Her victory over the buffalo demon Mahishasura is celebrated, emphasizing the power of divine femininity.
  • Effigies Burning: In many places, effigies of Ravana, Meghnad, and Kumbhakarna are burned, symbolizing the destruction of evil forces and the cleansing of the world.
  • Positive Values: Dussehra inspires people to uphold moral and ethical values, encouraging them to fight against injustice, dishonesty, and immorality.



4. Social Significance:


Dussehra fosters a sense of unity and community among people. Families come together, friends celebrate, and communities bond over shared festivities. The spirit of giving is also evident, as people donate to the less fortunate, emphasizing the importance of empathy and compassion.




5. Cultural Diversity:


One of the most captivating aspects of Dussehra is its diverse celebrations across India. From the grand processions in Mysore to the enchanting Ramlila performances in North India, each region adds its unique flair, showcasing the cultural diversity of the country.

Here's a list of Dussehra celebrations in India you didn't know about!


1. Ahemdabad Dussehra

Celebrated as Navratra across the state of Gujarat, the festival of Dussehra is a nine-day long celebration of colourful attire, scrumptious food, Goddess Durga and of course, dancing. 



2. Delhi Dussehra

Much like Navratri thalis, Delhi too, is one big platter of religions and traditions. And even if there's no one way to celebrate Dussehra in Delhi, things that remain common are Ram Lila performances, melas (fair), and fireworks amid burning Ravan, Kubhkaran and Meghnath effigies.



Kolkata Dussehra

One time of the year when Kolkata turns into a big party. Huge, colourful pandals with unique themes, delish and sacred bhogs, dhunuchi dances, dhaak beats and traditional Bonedi Bari pujas.


4. Punjab Dussehra

Punjab's Dussehra honours Goddess Shakti for abundance and happiness.ost that, the eighth day or Ashtami is observed as Kanjak, where nine minor girls are invited for a feast to pay respect to nine Goddesses in the Hindu religion. On the same day, people also break their fast and enjoy fairs and langars in Gurudwaras.




5. Mysore Dasara:

One of the best Dussehra celebrations in India, Mysore observes Dussehra as a commemoration of the event the city is named after. According to the legend, this is the land where Goddess Chamundeshwari slew the demon Mahishasura, to end evil on earth. In view of such a heroic tale, this city makes military parades, cultural performances and athletic contests a part of their Dussehra celebrations. The Mysuru Palace is lit up and a special Durbar is organised for everyone. Remember to keep a lookout for the majestic Dasara procession called Jumbo Savari that floods the streets of the city every year.


6. Kullu Dussehra

There's nothing more illuminating than being a part of the grand Dussehra celebration by the banks of the river Beas. Celebrated for seven days straight, it's the time of the year when people from nearby villages and towns gather in the famous Dhalpur Maidan to worship Lord Raghunatha along with the idols of the local gods and goddesses of the villages. 



7. Tamil Nadu Dasara

Dussehra celebrations in India, especially in the south, are incomplete without Goddesses Lakshmi, Durga and Saraswati. On this day, married women visit each others' homes and exchange kumkum, bangles, coconut, betel leaves and money as gifts.



8. Hyderabad's Bathukamma

Hyderabad celebrates Dussehra in the form of a beautiful festival dedicated to the Goddess Gauri called Bathukamma. The name literally means ‘Mother Goddess, Come Alive’.



In essence, Dussehra goes beyond its mythological origins; it embodies the spirit of unity, positivity, and triumph of good over evil. Its cultural significance, diverse celebrations, and timeless rituals make it a cherished festival, connecting generations and weaving a tapestry of shared heritage. As we embrace the festivities of Dussehra, let us celebrate the values it represents and strive to incorporate them into our lives, fostering a brighter, more harmonious world.


Q1: What is Dusshera?

A1: Dusshera, also known as Vijayadashami, is a Hindu festival that celebrates the victory of good over evil.


Q2: When is Dusshera celebrated?

A2: Dusshera falls on the tenth day of Navaratri, usually in September or October, marking the end of the Navaratri festival.


Q3: What is the significance of Dusshera?

A3: Dusshera symbolizes the triumph of Lord Rama over the demon king Ravana, emphasizing the victory of righteousness over wickedness.


Q4: How is Dusshera celebrated?

A4: Dusshera celebrations include processions, theatrical performances, and the burning of effigies symbolizing Ravana, his brother Kumbhakarna, and son Meghnad.


Q5: Why is Dusshera important in Hindu mythology?

A5: Dusshera marks the day when Lord Rama, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, defeated the demon king Ravana, upholding dharma (righteousness).


Q6: Are there regional variations in Dusshera celebrations?

A6: Yes, Dusshera celebrations vary across regions in India, with diverse customs and traditions, showcasing the cultural richness of the country.


Q7: What is the connection between Dusshera and Durga Puja?

A7: Dusshera concludes Navaratri, a nine-night festival dedicated to Goddess Durga, with the tenth day being celebrated as Dusshera.




Durga Puja


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