The festival of Dussehra is celebrated with much fervour and enthusiasm across the country. According to Hindu religious text Ramayana, it is the day when Lord Rama had eliminated Lanka king, Ravana, who had kidnapped his wife, Goddess Sita. The festival is celebrated as a symbol of victory of good over evil. However, it is interesting to note that Dussehra falls exactly a day after Navmi, or end of Navratra. Ever wondered why? We will get the answer ahead.
This year, Navratri began on September 29 and will end with Navami on October 7. The festival of Durga Puja is also being celebrated that would also end with Vijay Dashmi (the day of Dussehra) when the idols of Goddess Durga will be immersed in water after days of worship.
It is believed that Goddess Durga killed mighty demon Mahishasura during "Navratri" or nine nights. Different religious texts mention different names for incarnation of Goddess Durga who killed Mahishasura. Hence, the victory of Goddess Durga over evil is celebrated during Navratri.
The festival of Dussehra is celebrated on the 10th day or Vijay Dashmi. It is believed that Lord Rama worshipped Goddess Durga before going to war against Ravana on the advice of Lord Vishnu.
Rama won the war convincingly and hence the festival is celebrated on the next day of Navami.
The word Dussehra is derived from two Sanskrit words - 'dasha' that represents the ten heads of Ravana, and 'hara', which translates to 'defeat'. In the eastern part of India and in the Bengali culture, Vijay Dashmi celebrates the victory of Goddess Durga over 'buffalo demon' Mahishasura whose demonic activities had disrupted the daily livelihoods of many on Earth.