Dusshera paints the picture of triumph of lord Ram over the demon Ravana and goddess Durga over the demon Mahishasur. The picture symbolizes the victory of good over evil.
The festival also renowned as ‘Vijay Dashmi’ is celebrated in the ‘Aashwin Shuklpaksha’ month according to the Indian almanac and somewhere in the month of October. It is celebrated on the tenth day of Navratri. The celebration for Dusshera is rife among the Kshtriyas in Hindu culture. According to the mythological facts, the moment when the stars shine in the sky at dusk on this day, is considered as ‘Vijay’ which means triumph.
Though the rituals related to this festival are diverse but the basic reason and the slogan of victory for the Dusshera is contemporary since decades. The morning starts with the daily chores and the main ritual commences after getting ready with fresh clothes and frolic heart. The lady draws a pentagonal shaped structure with two hands and two legs that portrays a human. The picture is drawn with the flour and turmeric. The Swastikas and Ohm are too drawn with the same ingredients. Cow dung is considered the integral stuff of this ritual which is placed on the portrait. All the account books, kid’s school books, knife, scissor and allied items are placed beside this place abide by the gods. Earthen lamps and incense sticks are lighted that fills the milieu with aroma.
After following the hereditary ritual, pious songs are chanted by the clan. Sacred leaves called naurtein are grown in galore and are kept inside the books as believed they impart fortune. In some families, sisters put Tilak and rice on their brother’s forehead along with placing those naurtein in his ears. It is the family tryst with jubilant kin and clan. All celebrate the festival with fun, delicacies and souvenirs.
It is anonymously prevalent that seeing Indian roller or blue jay on this festive day imparts good luck. Families visit the location called Ramlila ground where they manifest the assassination of demon Ravana by Ram. Actors enact the whole story of Ramayana. On the last day, the effigies of Ravana with his son Meghnad and giant brother Kumbhkaran are made filled with fireworks and crackers in galore. The actor playing the role of Ram shoots an arrow with the flaming tip towards the effigies. The spectators cheers loudly with enthusiasm. They then enjoy the games, swings, shopping and the delicacies in the fair.
This ritual is rife in northern states. In Bengal, Dusshera is the tenth day of preceding nine days of Navratri. On this day, the people bid adieu to goddess Durga by immersing her large epitomes in the sea. It is believed that she is the incarnation of mother goddess Shakti. Goddess Durga is the combined manifestation of trinity powers-Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. She was destined to kill demon Mahishasur and relieve the earth from his terror. This tradition runs in the states of Orissa and Assam too. The southern states consider this festive day auspicious for commencing any type of education for their kids. For that, goddess Saraswati Puja is organized and the day is simultaneously known as ‘Vidya Aarambham’.
India is a land of diverse rituals and traditions. Therefore, the festival is celebrated explicitly in diverse ways. But as stated above, Dusshera cheers the victory of good over evil.