Vijayadashami 2021: Dussehra or Vijayadashami- one of the major religious festivals celebrates widely in India and Nepal. The word Dussehra is more common in North Indian states and Karnataka while the term Vijayadashami is more popular in West Bengal. Dussehra or Vijayadashami symbolizes the triumph of good over evil. The festival in India is celebrated by the Hindus of India and Nepal and among the Lhotshampa of Bhutan and the Burmese Gurkhas of Myanmar. In this festival, people pay homage to the Hindu Goddess Durga, and is also celebrated because of the victory of Durga over Mahishasur.
Dussehra is celebrated as Navaratri or Dussehra by Hindus in India, even though ceremonies and customs differ accordingly. The festival occurs in September or October, starting from the bright lunar night of the month and ending on the full moon. It is the longest and the most auspicious festival celebrated by Nepalese people all over the globe. Vijayadashami is a time for family reunions, youngsters visit the elders in their family, distant ones come to their homes. The elders mark their foreheads with tika and bless them for their future endeavors. Even people return from all parts of the world to their loved ones just to celebrate Vijayadashami. During the festival period all government offices, educational institutions, and other offices remain closed.
Vijayadashami is celebrated differently in every part of the Indian subcontinent. It marks the end of Durga Puja by remembering goddess Durga’s victory over the buffalo demon Mahishasura to bring back and protect dharma. In Hindu mythology, the demon Mahishasura had created terror in the world where gods live but Durga killed the demon. The first nine days of the festival represent the battle that took place between the different avatars of Durga and Mahishasura. The tenth day is the day when Durga finally defeated him.
For other Hindus, this festival symbolizes the victory of Ram over Ravan as written in the Ramayana. The festival also starts the preparation for Diwali, the important festival of lights, which is celebrated twenty days after Vijayadashami.