Dashera, a significant Hindu festival, is celebrated with immense zeal and enthusiasm in India. This holiday, also spelled as Dussehra or Vijayadashami falls on the tenth day of the bright half of the Hindu lunar month of Ashwin. It marks the victory of good over evil and serves as a symbol of hope and renewal. In this article, we will explore the joyous spirit of Dashera and the customs associated with it, which make it a unique and vibrant celebration.
The Legend of Dashera
Dashera’s origin is rooted in various Hindu epics and legends. Still, one of the most popular stories behind this festival is the triumph of Lord Rama over the demon king Ravana. According to the Ramayana, Lord Rama, with the guidance of Lord Hanuman and his army of monkeys, defeated Ravana and rescued his beloved wife, Sita. This victory symbolizes the ultimate triumph of good (Lord Rama) over evil (Ravana).
Customs and Traditions
- Ram Lila:A series of dramatic enactments of the Ramayana known as “Ram Lila” are performed in various parts of India. These plays bring to life the epic story of Lord Rama’s journey and his eventual victory over Ravana. The Ram Lila is performed with great grandeur and enthusiasm, attracting people of all ages.
- Ravana Dahan:One of the most anticipated moments of Dashera is the burning of effigies of Ravana, his son Meghnad, and brother Kumbhakarna. These puppets represent the evil that exists in the world. The act of setting them on fire signifies the destruction of evil and the triumph of righteousness.
- Apta Tree Worship:In some parts of India, the Apta tree is worshipped on Dashera. This is said to symbolize the tree under which Lord Rama prayed for the power to defeat Ravana.
- Saraswati Puja:On Dashera, many students and artists pay homage to the goddess of knowledge, Saraswati. Books, musical instruments, and tools of one’s trade are often placed in front of the goddess’s idol as a mark of respect and to seek her blessings.
Happy Dashera: The Festival of Togetherness
Dashera is not only a religious festival but also a celebration of unity and togetherness. Families and communities come together to witness the Ram Lila, enjoy delicious food, and participate in the Ravana Dahan. It’s a time to strengthen bonds and reflect on the values of good triumphing over evil, inspiring people to make positive changes in their lives.
As the effigies of Ravana, Meghnad, and Kumbhakarna burn, the crowd cheers in unison, celebrating the victory of good over evil. It’s a moment that fills hearts with hope and happiness. This collective joy binds people to a common purpose, reminding us of the importance of unity in the face of adversity.
Dashera, with its rich mythology, customs, and traditions, is a festival that resonates with millions of people in India and around the world. It is a reminder of the enduring power of good over evil and the significance of togetherness in our lives. As Dashera approaches, let us join hands with family and friends to celebrate this joyous festival, spreading happiness and the message of triumph and unity to all. Happy Dashera!