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Dussehra 2023: A Vibrant Journey of Good Over Evil


India  •  17 Oct, 2023  •  20,731 Views  •  ⭐ 5.0

Written by Shivani Chourasia


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Dussehra, celebrated as Vijayadashami in various regions, stands as a monumental festival among the Hindu community in India. It marks the conclusion of the vibrant nine-day Navratri festival, with its dates shifting each year due to its alignment with the lunar calendar. This time around, the festivities will commence on October 15, 2023, and conclude on October 24, 2023. According to the Hindu Panchang (Calendar), the Vijay Muhurat is slated between 01:58 PM and 02:43 PM.

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Unveiling Dussehra 2023: Dates and Significance

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As Dussehra 2023 draws nearer, it's time to delve into the significance and rituals of this colourful celebration, also revered as Vijayadashami. This festival, rich in history and symbolism, stands as a testament to the victory of righteousness over malevolence.

Dussehra marks the finale of Navratri, commemorating the victories of Lord Rama over Ravana, and Goddess Durga over the demon Mahishasura. The customary celebrations include fireworks and the burning of Ravana effigies, symbolizing the defeat of evil forces.

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The Historical Backdrop and Significance of Dussehra

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Dussehra, on the tenth day of Navratri, marks the closure of the nine-day celebration honouring the various forms of Goddess Durga. It's also celebrated as the Day of Victory or Vijayadashami. While some associate it with Goddess Durga's conquest over Mahishasura, others connect it to the epic battle narrated in the Ramayana.

Following Dussehra, the grandeur of Diwali unfolds twenty days later, commemorating Lord Rama’s return after his victory over Ravana. Dussehra imparts the powerful message of good prevailing over evil, with people seeking blessings for prosperity and good health.

Navratri 2023 and The Prelude to Diwali

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Diwali, falling on November 12 2023, is ushered in with the triumphs celebrated during Dussehra, marking the end of Navratri. Across India, the essence of Dussehra is captured through diverse traditions and cultural festivities, unified by the jubilation of seeing good triumph over evil. Prominent customs include large-scale processions, Ravana Dahan, Ramleela, and Kanya Pujan, alongside charitable activities and the ritualistic worship of weapons (shastra puja).

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Legends Embodied in Dussehra

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The legends revolving around Dussehra primarily narrate the tales of Goddess Durga overpowering Mahishasura, and Lord Rama defeating Ravana. It's believed that after an intense ten-day battle, Lord Rama emerged victorious over the Lankan king, Ravana, symbolizing the triumph of good over evil.

Vijaya Dashami Celebrations Unfolded

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Various narratives around Dussehra underpin its significance, with North India majorly celebrating it in alignment with the Ramayana. The saga of Lord Rama rescuing Sita from the clutches of Ravana, with the aid of his brother Lakshmana and an army of monkeys, is central to the celebrations. The battle raged on for days, with Rama seeking the blessings of Goddess Durga to vanquish the mighty Ravana.

His prayers to the nine different forms of Goddess Durga for nine days empowered him to overcome Ravana. On Ganga Dussehra, devotees flock to sacred places like Prayagraj/Allahabad, Garhmukteshwar, Haridwar, Rishikesh, and Varanasi to take a holy dip in the Ganges. Varanasi is particularly known for its lively Ganga Dussehra celebrations.

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The Essence of Ram-Leela and Dussehra

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Ram-Leela, a dramatic representation of the Ramayana, holds a special place in Dussehra celebrations, especially in North India. The performances narrate the saga of Lord Rama's conquest over Ravana, culminating with the burning of effigies of Ravana, Kumbhkaran, and Meghnath post-performance, witnessed by a sea of spectators, enjoying the victory of good over evil.

Conclusion

The tapestry of Dussehra, interwoven with profound historical significance, religious reverence, and vibrant cultural expressions, unfolds a unique narrative of valour, virtue, and victory. As we step into Dussehra 2023, the essence of this grand festival beckons us to reflect upon the timeless saga of good prevailing over evil, inspiring hope and unity amidst the diverse cultural milieu of India.

The diverse rituals, the communal celebrations, and the heartwarming traditions associated with Dussehra are not merely a tribute to the illustrious past but a living testimony to India's rich cultural heritage. Each effigy burned and every prayer chanted resonates with the indomitable spirit of righteousness and the collective hope for a future filled with prosperity, peace, and goodness. As we immerse ourselves in the jubilant celebrations of Dussehra, we are not only honouring the divine but also fostering a sense of community, compassion, and shared joy, enriching the social fabric of the nation.

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