On Saturday September 29th, millions of Hindus worldwide celebrated one of their most auspicious festivals known as Dussehra. Also, known as Vijayadashami, Dussehra symbolizes Good energy and forces over Evil powers and is based on ancient Indian history where King Ravana of historic Lanka was defeated by Lord Shri Rama. Dussehra is celebrated in all villages and cities across India with melas and bazaars being setup, along with large shows that display giant representations of Ravana being burnt with fire. The Ramleela is also a big part leading up to Dussehra, and is an enactment of the life of Lord Shri Rama and most commonly performed as a play.
Although Dussehra is celebrated with great fervor across India; North Indian states such as UP, HP, Uttarakhand, Delhi, Haryana and Punjab have a higher turnout. Dussehra is also celebrated with high fervor outside of India where there are large Hindu diasporas including Nepal, Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, United States, Trinidad and Guyana.
Dussehra is also 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). This year in 2017, Dussehra falls on September 30th. The first 9 days are celebrated as the popular Hindu festival of Navratri 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.
For a few Hindus, Dussehra is also a time of anxiety and fear. Over the last few years, many Dussehra celebrations and events, including its devotees have been attacked or threatened by Islamist groups or miscreants. These bigoted cases primarily occurred in areas of Pakistan and Bangladesh where Hindus form a significant minority. In India, some 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 entire Chakra news team prays and wishes everyone a Shubh (happy) Dussehra and a life full of good karma, along with the destruction of evil energy that may be present in their life. Jai Shri Ram!