Dussehra - 2016

Dussehra Festival  or  ( Vijaya-Dashami )

This year Dussehra will be celebrated on Tuesday, 11 October 2016.

In 2016 Dussehra will be celebrated on Tuesday, 11 October 2016.
In 2017 Dussehra will be celebrated on Saturday, 30 September 2017.
In 2018 Dussehra will be celebrated on Friday, 19 October 2018.
In 2019 Dussehra will be celebrated on Tuesday, 8 October 2019.
In 2020 Dussehra will be celebrated on Sunday, 25 October 2020.

In 2015 Dussehra was celebrated on Thursday, 22 October 2015.

 Dussehra or Vijayadashami is one of the most important festivals celebrated in various forms, across India, Nepal and Bangladesh. Dasara/ Dussehra is derived from Sanskrit word Dasha-hara meaning "remover of bad fate" meaning remover of ten heads of Ravana.

 Dasara is celebrated on the tenth day of the Hindu autumn lunar month of Ashvin, or Ashwayuja which falls in September or October of the Western calendar, from the Shukla Paksha Pratipada, or the day after the new moon which falls in Bhadrapada, to the Dashami, or the tenth day of Ashvin.

The first nine days are celebrated as Maha Navratri ( nine nights') or Sharada Navratri (the winter navaratri ) and culminates on the tenth day as Dussehra.

On this day number of fairs are organized throughout the northern India, burning effigies of Ravana.It is also called “Vijayadashmi” as this day marks the victory of Lord Rama over Ravana. VijayaDashami is considered to be an auspicious day for the Indian householder, on which he worships, protects and preserves 'Shakti' (power). According to Scriptures, by worshipping the 'Shakti' on these nine-days the householders attain the threefold power i.e. physical, mental and spiritual, which helps him to progress in life without any difficulty.

 Dussehra  marks

* the victory of Goddess Durga over such demons as Shumbh and Nishumbh, and Madhu - Kaitabh. It is a day when devotees worship Goddess Shakti. Shakti represents strength, ability and courage.

* the victory of Lord Rama over the demon king Ravana.

 * the victory of Shakti over Mahishasura, 

* the begining of  harvest season at this time.

*  the end of Agnyatawas of Pandavas


The 'Ramlila' - an enactment of the life of Lord Rama, is held during the nine days preceding Dussehra.
This includes performances of the Ramlila (a short version of the epic Ramayana) in Northern India.
 The theatrical enactment of this dramatic encounter is held throughout the country in which every section of people participates enthusiastically.

 The blessing of household and work-related tools, such as books, computers, cooking pans and vehicles in the state of Karnataka.

 Abujh Muhurt

 Many Hindus also believe that it is lucky to start a new venture, project or journey on Dussehra.

On the tenth day (Dussehra or Vijay Dasami), larger than life effigies of Ravana, his son and brother - Meghnadh and Kumbhakarna are set to fire.


Goddess Durga:

As per the ancient scriptures, when the world became tortured by a mighty vicious demon known as Mahishasura and even the Gods could not defeat him, they all combined their energies and the mighty warrior, Goddess Durga was born. The Goddess engaged the demon in battle and killed many of his comrades, like Chanda and Munda, who also came to be known as Chamundeshwari. 

 For nine days, the gruesome battle continued between the pious Goddess and the vicious demon; however, on the tenth day, the Goddess subdued the ravaging beast and killed him. This sacred day is celebrated as Vijayadashmi in eastern India and Karnataka. The celebrations in Mysore, Karnataka are most lavish as it is believed that demon King Mahishasura belonged to Mysore and the royal family of the city is an ardent devotee of Goddess Chamundeshwari.


 Legend of Lord Rama:

As per the epic Ramayana, Lord Rama was the eighth incarnation of Lord Vishnu who was born to showcase the virtues of an ideal man. He faced the 14 year long exile to keep his father's word, accompanied by his devout wife Sita and devoted brother Laxman. Lord Rama had to go through various testing times during his exile, especially when his wife was abducted by the demon King Ravana and taken to Lanka as hostage. According to the epic, Lord Rama along with his brother, trusted aid Hanuman, and an army of monkeys, attacked the demon king and a great battle ensued for ten days. 

On the tenth day, Lord Rama killed the ten headed Ravana and rescued Sita. Since then, Dussehra is believed to be celebrated on that day till date. The word Dussehra, in itself, can be construed as Dasa Hara, which means cutting of ten heads of the demon Ravana. Therefore, the day is celebrated to mark the triumph of good over evil.


 Shami Tree:

As per the epic Mahabharata, during Agyatvas, the Pandavas hid their weapons under a Shami tree, which was located near their residence. Although Kauravas made great efforts to find Pandavas in the final year of their concealment so that another exile of 12 years could be levied on them, but were unsuccessful in doing so. 

As soon as the period of disguise was over, the Pandavas went to the Shami tree and retrieved their weapons after worshipping the Shami tree and the sacred weapons. It is believed that this happened on the day of Dashmi. Hence, this day came to be known as Vijayadashmi, since Pandavas were triumphant in completing their exile. Since then, people hug each other under the Shami tree and exchange its leaves on Dussehra



(Story behind exchanging Aapti Tree on Dussehra)

 Kautsa, the young son of Devdatt, a Brahmin, was living in the city of Paithan. After completing education from Rishi Varatantu, he insisted on his guru accepting Guru Dakshina. After initial hesitation, seeing the adamancy of his student, the sage decided to test his pupil and hence, asked for an incredulous sum of 140 million gold coins. The determined Kausta went to King Raghu of Ayodhya (an ancestor of Lord Rama) to ask for the sum, since he was known as a great philanthropist. However, the king had just emptied his treasury to give alms to the Brahmins after performing a Vishvajit yagna.

The king took three days' time from Kausta and went to Lord Indra to ask for the gold coins. Lord Indra called the treasurer of the deities, Kuber and asked him to shower gold coins on the “Shanu” and “Aapti” trees located around King Raghu's Kingdom. Kuber followed the order and due to this, Kausta fulfilled his promise to his teacher and distributed rest of the coins to the poor and needy. It is believed this all happened on the day of Dussehra. In Ayodhya, people, even today, observe the ritual of presenting leaves of Aapti trees to each other as a sign of prosperity on Dussehra.


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