- Vijayadashami is marked on October 15, 2021 in calendars followed in North and Western parts of India.
- Vidyarambham in Kerala is marked on October 15, 2021.
- Immersion of Goddess Durga Murti is marked on October 15, 2021 in Bengal.
- Dussehra is marked on October 15, 2021 in calendars followed in Karnataka.
- Vijayadashami is marked on October 15, 2021 in calendars in Tamil Nadu.
- Ayudha Puja is marked on October 14, 2021 in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
Symbolism in Vijaya Dashami and Dussehra
Symbolically, Vijaya Dashami and Dussehra are the victory of Good over Evil – Goddess Durga annihilating Demon Mahisha and Lord Ram defeating Ravana.
Victory over 10 Bad Qualities
Dasara is a Sanskrit word which means removal of ten bad qualities within you. Dasa (10) + hara (to annihilate):
- Ahankara (Ego)
- Amaanavta (Cruelty)
- Anyaaya (Injustice)
- Kama vasana (Lust)
- Krodha (Anger)
- Lobha (Greed)
- Mada (Over Pride)
- Matsara (Jealousy)
- Moha (Attachment)
- Swartha (Selfishness)
We attain Vijaya or victory when these ten qualities are removed from life. The festival is therefore known as Vijayadashami signifying Vijaya (victory) over these ten qualities.
Bhagavan Sri Ram a Link Between Dussehra and Durga Puja
It is also believed that Lord Ram performed ‘chandi puja’ to invoke the blessings of Goddess Durga for slaying Ravana. Pleased with Lord Ram, Goddess Durga or Goddess Chamundeshwari divulged the secret to Lord Rama on how to slay Ravana. Thus there is a link between the Durga Puja and Lord Ram.
Dussehra Importance and Significance
Dasara is observed on the tenth day of the waxing phase of moon in Ashwin month.The main rituals on the day is the burning of the effigy burning of Ravana, Kumbhakarna and Meghnad. Symbolically, Dasara is the victory of good over evil.
The most colorful and popular Dasara festival takes place in Mysore in Karnataka and in North India.
Mysore Dasara (Oct 7 to Oct 15)
In Karnataka, especially in Mysore, Dasara festivals are held for 10-days and the final day celebrates the victory of Goddess Chamundi or Goddess Chamundeshwari over Demon Mahishasura. Here the 10-day festival is known as Dasara – not just the final day.
In North India, Dasara is believed to be the day when Lord Ram annihilated Ravana. On the final day of Dasara celebrations, huge effigies of Ravana, Kumbhakarna, and Meghnath are burned.
Vijaya Dashami Importance and Significance
Vijayadashami marks the end of the Durga Puja.
Navratri festival which begins on the first of the bright half of Ashwin month (September-October) ends with Vijayadashami celebrations in most parts of India.
Many people start learning music, art and new courses on the Vijayadasami day.
People also use the day to begin new businesses and make new investments.
Goddess Durga Murtis worshipped during Durga Puja are immersed in water on the day.
Important Rituals and Festivals on Dussehra
- Apta Tree Leaves are distributed on the day
- Shami Puja is held in North India
- Kullu Dussehra begins on the day and continues for seven days.
- Dashain Festival in Nepal also comes to an end on the day.
- Vidyarambham in Kerala
- It is one of the rare muhurat in a year – Sade Teen Muhurat
- Jayanti (birth anniversary of Madhvacharya is observed on the day.
- Somnatha Brata is observed in Orissa on the day.
- The Ghatasthapana Grass which was religiously grown from the first day of Navratri is cut and distributed among friends, neighbors and relatives.
- Goddess Aparajita form of Durga is worshipped on the day.
- Simolanghan Ritual in Maharashtra
- Bathukamma Festival concludes in Telangana.
Popular Dussehra Festivals in India
Kota Dussehra in Rajasthan
- Started in 1723 AD by Maharaj Durjanshal Singh Hada.
- Runs for 25 days.
- Massive effigies of Ravana, Meghnath and Kumbhakarna on Dasara day.
- Highlights include traditional Rajasthani cultural performances, colorful costumes, games plays, spectacular displays of fireworks
- Traditional food can be enjoyed a plethora of food stalls.
- Moustache competition
- Music and poetry competitions
Dussehra Ramlila in Delhi
The main highlight of the festival is the setting fire to the sky-high effigies of Ravana, Meghnath and Kumbhkaran on Dasara Day. Enactment of Ram Leela musical.