Dussehra, also known as Vijayadashami, is a significant Hindu festival celebrated to commemorate the triumph of good over evil. It marks the day when Lord Rama defeated the demon king Ravana and Maa Durga’s victory over Mahishasura. People celebrate Dussehra enthusiastically on the tenth day of the Ashwin month, following the nine days of Navratri. The term “Dussehra” is common in North India and Karnataka, while “Vijayadashami” is popular in West Bengal. Festivities include Durga Visarjan in Bengal and Ram Lila performances nationwide. Large fairs and the burning of Ravan effigies attract crowds from all over.
When is Dussehra? Vijayadashami Puja Muhurat
Dussehra, also known as Vijayadashami, falls on October 24 this year. According to Drik Panchang, the auspicious Vijaya Muhurat is from 1:58 to 2:43 pm. The afternoon Puja time spans from 1:13 pm to 3:28 pm. The Dashami Tithi begins on October 23 at 5:44 pm and concludes on October 24 at 3:14 pm. The Shravana Nakshatra is observed from October 22 at 6:44 pm to October 23 at 5:14 pm.
Vijayadashami History & Significance
Vijayadashami, or Dussehra, holds great historical and cultural significance in Hindu tradition. It’s celebrated for several reasons:
- The victory of Good over Evil: The primary significance of Vijayadashami is the commemoration of the triumph of good over evil. It marks the day when Lord Rama defeated the ten-headed demon king Ravana, symbolizing the victory of righteousness over wickedness.
- Goddess Durga’s Victory: In various parts of India, Vijayadashami commemorates Goddess Durga’s victory over the buffalo monster Mahishasura. It symbolizes the feminine power and the defeat of evil forces.
- End of Navratri: Vijayadashami marks the tenth and final day of Navratri, a festival dedicated to the worship of various forms of the Goddess Durga. It is a culmination of the nine nights of devotion and prayer.
- Dance and Music: In many parts of India, Vijayadashami is associated with the initiation of formal education, particularly in dance and music. Children often begin their formal learning on this day.
- Cultural Celebrations: The festival is celebrated with diverse cultural events, including the traditional performance of Ram Lila, which depicts scenes from the epic Ramayana. Large fairs, processions, and the burning of effigies of Ravana are common customs.
- Spiritual Significance: Vijayadashami also signifies the importance of spiritual growth and removing ignorance. It’s a time for individuals to renew their commitment to virtuous living.
- New Beginnings: Many consider Vijayadashami an auspicious day to start new ventures, make important decisions, or purchase new items.
Dussehra 2023: Celebrations
Dussehra, in 2023, promises to be a vibrant and festive occasion with various celebratory activities:
- Ram Lila Performances: Across India, communities will stage Ram Lila performances, reenacting scenes from the epic Ramayana, culminating in the dramatic burning of effigies of the demon king Ravana, his brother Kumbhakarna, and son Meghnad.
- Devotional Worship: Devotees will visit temples and offer prayers to Lord Rama, seeking his blessings for victory over evil and a prosperous life.
- Cultural Events: Many places will organize cultural programs, including dance, music, and drama, to celebrate the rich heritage and mythology of Dussehra.
- Processions: People will carry elaborate processions through the streets, featuring idols of Lord Rama, Sita, Lakshmana, and Hanuman, accompanied by music and dancing.
- Food and Sweets: Families and friends will come together to prepare and share special traditional dishes and sweets. It’s a time for indulging in delicious treats.
- Shopping: People will shop for new clothes, gifts, and household items. Markets will be bustling with activity.
- Educational Beginnings: Vijayadashami is considered an auspicious day to initiate formal learning, especially in classical arts, music, and dance. Many children will start their education journey on this day.
- Social Gatherings: Families and friends celebrate and exchange good wishes.
- Cultural Fairs: Many cities and towns organize fairs, which feature traditional crafts, art, and entertainment, providing a vibrant atmosphere for celebration.
- Charitable Acts: Some people use this occasion to engage in acts of charity, helping those in need as an expression of compassion and goodwill.