Dussehra also known as Vijayadashmi, one of the major Hindu festivals also known as Dasara is celebrated at the end of Navaratri. This year Dussehra will be celebrated on Friday, October 19, 2018. The day is observed on the tenth day of Ashvin, according to the Hindu calendar which generally falls in Gregorian months of September and October. Also Read - 83-Year-Old Hotelier Uses Atlas to Track Lord Ram's Itinerary During His Exile Period
The festival is celebrated with pomp and fervour across the country with different states following various customs and tradition. In the southern states, the day is known as Vijayadashami where special prayers and rituals are performed in temples and households. The festival is also celebrated on large scale in the neighbouring country of Nepal by a large population. The day is known as Durga Puja or Dugotsava in the eastern and northeastern states of India. Elaborate celebrations, performance arts, processions can be witnessed in the states of West Bengal, Odisha, Assam, Jharkhand, Bihar and Tripura during those nine days. Also Read - Yogi Govt Allots Rs 447 Crore For Building 221-Metre Tall Ram Statue in Ayodhya
According to popular Hindu beliefs, Lord Rama fought against Ravana for ten days and defeated him to save his wife, Sita. The victory of Lord Rama over Ravana signifies good over evil. In most parts of the country, people fast for nine days after which Dussehra is celebrated. The eastern states celebrate Durga Puja signifying good over evil after Goddess Durga killed demon Mahisasura. While in the Southern states, Goddess Durga or Goddess Chamundeswari is worshipped who defeated demon Mahisasura and his army on Chamundi hills to protect the people. Goddess Lakshmi, Goddess Saraswati, Lord Ganesha and Lord Kartikeya are worshipped are also worshipped on this day. Also Read - Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 Goes on Floor, Kiara Advani-Kartik Aaryan Mark 'Shubharambh' With Clapper
Dusshera Muhurat timings:
This year Vijayadashmi tithi will at start at 03:28 pm on October 18 and ends on October 19 at 05:57. According to the Hindu calendar, the rituals of Dussehra rituals are suppose to be followed during Apaharan time which is 01:20 pm to 04:37 pm on October 19.
The puja is performed for ‘Astra’ and prayers are offered to Lord Ram, Lakshman, Bharat and Shatrughan. On this day puja is performed by keeping coins, roli, rice, flower and Chuara intwo bowls. Fruits such as banana, radish, gwarphalii, jiggery and rice are offered to Lord Ram. Lighting diya, dhoop and intense sticks are a part of the ritual.
During this festival, Ramleela or plays are organised in temple grounds and at other events that enact the tale of The Ramayana. Idols of Goddess Durga are immersed into the water following grand processions and special prayers. Food being an integral part of India’s festivities, Dussehra or Durga Puja also with the esses preparation of sweets like rasgula, halwa, ladoo, barfi and various other dishes.
On this day, melas (outdoor festival gatherings) and parades also take place where effigies of Ravana are burnt showing the victory of good over evil. The effigies are burnt in bonfires in the evening culminating the Navaratri festival. According to Hindu beliefs, the day is believed to the lucky to start a new venture or any project. People also exchange leaves from the Sahmi tree as it is considered auspicious.