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Dussehra 2017: Significance, important rituals and celebrations across India

Dussehra is the tenth day of Navratri, when Lord Ram fought with Ravana in Lanka and emerged victorious.

art and culture Updated: Sep 30, 2017 08:57 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Dussehra 2017,Dussehra Celebration In India,Mysore Dussehra
Navratri — the nine days of celebration of each form of Goddess Durga — culminates with Dussehra. (Shutterstock)

Navratri — the nine days of celebration of each form of Goddess Durga — culminates with Dussehra, the tenth day. It is also called as Vijayadashami, the day of victory. There are two mythological tales behind the celebration of victory of good over evil. The first one is about Goddess Durga’s victory over demon Mahishasura.

The second is associated with Lord Ram, who fought a war for 10 days with Ravana in Lanka to bring back Sita. Ravana was killed by Ram on the tenth day, and is celebrated as Vijayadashami.

Dussehra celebration across India

The festival is celebrated in various ways across the country. In Kolkata, it is Durga Puja (or Pujo, as Bengalis call it). In Northern India, celebrations often include recital of the Ramayana as a Ramlila. Professional actors dress up and act out portions of the sacred text. The final act is the burning of Ravana’s effigy to signify victory over evil.

An artist dressed as the demon king Ravana performs during Ramlila. (Reuters)

In Southern India, the nine days of Navratri are celebrated with a display of gods and dolls called Golu. Sweets are prepared on each day of the celebration. Dussehra celebrations in Mysore are one of the most spectacular in the country. The Mysore Palace is illuminated and performances are organised.

In Maharashtra, families visit friends and offer the dried apta leaf, a symbol of prosperity. People also invest in gold and other expensive metals; it is believed that this will lead to prosperity all year round.

So, how are you celebrating Dussehra this year?

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First Published: Sep 30, 2017 08:55 IST