Dussehra is an important festival in India. It is largely celebrated by the Hindus. It falls in the month of September-October. It is celebrated twenty days earlier than Diwali. It marks the victory of Lord Rama over the demon king Ravana.
The festival of Dussehra falls twenty days before the Diwali. It shows victory of virtue over vice, of right over wrong. Rama stands for virtuewhereas Ravana, the demon king, depicts vice and wrong.
Ram symbolizes good and Ravana represents evil.
Dussehra is celebrated with great pomp and show. In different parts of the country it is celebrated differently. In West Bengal it is celebrated with the worship of goddess Durga while in the south, it is celebrated as victory of good over evil.
In Bengal, Dasara is celebrated with pomp in honour of Goddess Durga. Huge Durga idols are made and worshipped devotedly for three days. Some animals are also sacrifised. On Vijayadasami day, Mother Durga is taken out in a procession with Devi Lakshmi on one side and Devi Saraswati on the other side. Similarly Sri Ganesh is put on one side and Sri Karthikeya, another son of the Goddess, is placed on the other side. At the end of the procession all idols are immersed in water.
Dussehra is celebrated for ten days. Preparations for the festival start many days earlier. A big fair is held. Shops and stalls are erected near the place where the goddess is worshipped.
In North India Dasara is a festival to commemorate Rama's victory over Ravana. It is a victory of good over evil. On Vijayadasami day all villages, towns and cities have a festive look. Children, men and women wear new clothes, say prayers to Durga, eat festive dishes and reach Ramlila grounds by evening. There huge effigies of Ravana, Kumbakarna his brother, and Meghanadha his son, are erected. A mock battle is fought by Rama and Lakshmana on one side, and the demons on the other side. The effigies are then razed to ground amidst the cries of 'Ramchandar ki Jai'. Rajputs in Rajasthan worship their weapons on that day.
The effigies of Ravana, Kumbhakarana and Meghnad are prepared. Ram Lila is enacted during the nights. Different events of the life of Lord Rama is dramatised in the Ram Lila. There is great hustle and bustle during the Ram Lila.
It is the climix of the whole show. In a big and spacious ground the main function of Dussehra is held. There is an atmosphere of great festivity. Everyone is happy and joyous. Each one attends the celebration in his best spirits. Children put on new
clothes. The bazaars(markets) are arranged. Vendors sell all types of wares, especially toys for children. Elders can eat mouth watering dishes.
Thousands of men, women and children gather in the Ram Lila ground to enjoy the show.
On the tenth day, there is a great fair. Huge number of people comes to watch the show. Children are particularly in a mood to fun and enjoyment.
A procession is taken out everyday. Thousands of men, women and children go to see the Jhankis of Ram. The fair is held in an open ground on the last day. The people go to see the fair. Big effigies of Ravan, Kumbhakaran, Meghnath over 80 feet in height are set up with explosives, crackers, etc. beset in them. At sunset, Ram throws a fiery arrow at them and they are set on fire. After the effigies are burnt down, the people return to their
They wear new clothes. There are shops of many kinds. The toy sellers and sweet sellers have a good business on this day. Women can be seen in large numbers around the chat stall. Shops of toys are crowded with children
During the festival days, the markets get crowded. Children wear new clothes. They make merry. People look cheerful and happy. The shops are decorated. The people buy sweets and enjoy.
Children also like to buy balloons. Everyone is happy and enjoys himself. The whole environment wears a festive look.
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In the evening the fair is in full swing. Tableaus depicting the life and time of Lord Rama are on display. The actors playing the role of Lord Rama, Sita, Hanuman and Lakshaman are taken out in procession. The procession ends in the Ram
Lila ground. There is a fight between Ram and Ravana there.
Thus, the festival comes to an end on this day. People go back to their homes. There is a sea of people all around.
This day is celebrated as the Dussehra Day through the length and breadth of India. The schools and colleges are off. There is autumn break or Dussehra Holidays. The Ramlila is enacted in every street and corner. There are well-established Ram Lila Committees who attract millions of people. For ten days continously the Ramlila is played day and night. Then comes the last day.