Dussehra, also known as Vijayadashami or Dasara, is one of the most important Hindu festival celebrated in India, Nepal, and Bangladesh. It commemorates the victory of Lord Rama over the wicked-demon Ravana. Thus, many people celebrate Dussehra as the victory of good over evil.
Dussehra is celebrated on the tenth day of Shukla Pasha (bright half) of Ashvin (the seventh month of the lunisolar Hindu calendar). Since Dussehra is determined based on Hindu calendar, the date of Dussehra in Gregorian calendar keeps changing from year to year.
When is Dussehra 2013?
Dussehra 2013 falls on Monday, 14 October 2013.
History of Dussehra
Hindus people believe that Dussehra is the anniversary of the day when Lord Rama killed the demon king Ravana who kidnapped his wife, Sita. The story is stated in the epic Ramayana. Based on the epic, Ravana had a sister named Shoorpanakha who fell in love with the brothers Rama and Lakshamana. Shoorpanakha wanted to marry one of the brothers, but Rama had already married with Sita, and Lakshamana refused to marry her.
Frustrated with the rejection, Shoorpanakha threatened to kill Sita in order to be able to marry Rama. Lakhsamana was furious to find out Shoorpanakha’s plan that he cut off her nose and ears. As a revenge for his sister, Ravana kidnapped Sita, but Both Rama and Lakshamana fought Ravana to rescue Sita. Rama was then able to kill Ravana and rescue Sita with the help of Hanuman and his army of monkey. The day when Rama killed Ravana was known as Dussehra which signify the victory of good over evil.
Dussehra 2012 Celebration
Different countries have different traditions in celebrating Dussehra. Some traditions of Dussehra in India, Nepal, and Bangladesh are available below.
Dussehra 2013 Celebration in India
Hindu people in India celebrate Dussehra by attending special prayer meetings and offering food to the gods at the temples or at home. In some areas of India, the celebration of Dussehra can last for 10 days with many parades, festivals, and performances held every day.
Usually, people carry large effigies of Ravana on the parades during Dussehra. The effigies are then burnt in the evening as the symbol of good forces’ victory over evil. Sometimes, the parades during Dussehra cause traffic jam in many streets and roads of India.
Dussehra is a public holiday in India so that schools, government offices, and banks are usually closed on that day. Some stores and business are also closed, but some others remain open with a reduced opening hours.
Dussehra 2013 Celebration in Nepal
In Nepal, Dussehra is called Vijayadashami or Dasain. It is the biggest annual festival in Nepal which is celebrated on around September or October by Hindus as well as non-Hindu people throughout the country. People in Nepal celebrate Vijayadashami by applying Tika or Jamara on the forehead of younger family members. They also sacrifice livestock such as chicken, goat, or buffalo to goddess Durga and visit their relatives to exchange greetings.
Dussehra 2013 Celebration in Bangladesh
Dussehra is called Dasha-Hara in Bangladesh. People in this country celebrate the festival for five days with the main celebration takes place in Dhaka at Dhakeshwari temple and Ramkrishna missionary. On the day of Dasha-Hara, many people in Bangladesh submerge the clay statues of goddess Durga together with turmeric and some some pooja (praying) items to the river.