Dussehra, also widely known as Vijayadashami is a popular Hindu festival celebrated globally. Dussehra in a nutshell symbolizes Good powers vs. Evil powers and is based on the historic defeat of King Ravana of historic Lanka by Shri Rama. Dussehra is celebrated with melas and plays all over India, but is more popular in the Northern states of India such as Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana and Punjab. Dussehra is also celebrated with high fervor outside of India where there is a large Hindu diaspora such as Suriname, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, United States, Trinidad and Guyana.
Dussehra is celebrated on the 10th day of the Hindu lunar month of Ashvin, or Ashwayuja which falls in September or October of the Western calendar, a few days or weeks before the largest Hindu festival – Diwali (aka Deepavali). The first nine days are celebrated as Navami which celebrates Goddess Durga and culminates on the 10th day as Vijaydashmi. Many Hindus observe Vijaydashmi through social gatherings and food offerings to Bhagwan (another word symbolizing GOD) at their home temple or community Hindu temples.
The Ramleela is an enactment of the life of Lord Shri Rama and most commonly performed as a play during the Nine days preceding Dussehra. On the 10th day (Dusshera or Vijaydashmi), large representations of King Ravana, his son and brother – Meghnadh and Kumbhakarna are set to fire.
For a few Hindus, Dussehra is also a time of sadness and fear. In the last few years, many Dussehra religious events and its devotees in mainly India, Bangladesh and Pakistan have been attacked or desecrated by Islamist groups or miscreants. In some cases, these attacks were sparked after some Muslim groups felt offended that Hindus were celebrating Dussehra in Muslim-majority areas and begun throwing rocks at people celebrating.
The Chakra news team wishes everyone a Shubh Dussehra and a life full of good karma and destruction of evil forces. Jai Shri Ram!