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Dussehra, is one of the most important festivals celebrated in various forms, across India, Nepal andBang- ladesh. Dasara/ Dussehra is derived from Sanskrit Dasha-hara meaning "remover of bad fate" meaning remover of ten heads of Ravana's.


It is also referred to as Navratri and Durgotsav. It is also written as Dashahara, Dussehra, Punjabi: ????? and Dashain in Nepal.


Vijayadashmi or dussehra 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(Sanskrit: ????????, 'nine nights') or Sharada Navratri (the most important Navratri) and culminates on the tenth day as dussehra. This day also celebrates the victory of Lord Rama over the demon king Ravana.Dussehra are the best time for Indian to perform all shubh activities, so if you plan your child marriage or want to get register for marriage or for any shubh mahurat then Dussehra is the best time. Dussehra is very good for marriages or want to get register for marriage, so apnahumsafar.com is best matrimony and matrimonial website in India. apnahumsafar.com wish you all happy Dussehra....

In India, the harvest season begins at this time and so the Mother Goddess is invoked to start the new harvest season and reactivate the vigor and fertility of the soil. This is done through religious performances and rituals which are thought to invoke cosmic forces that rejuvenate the soil. Many people of the Hindu faith observe dussehra through social gatherings and food offerings to the gods at home and in temples throughout Nepal and India.


History

dussehra is the festival of Victory of Good over Evil. There are many variations to this feat, that are believed all across India.Victory of God Rama over Ravana

See also: Ramayana, Shri Rama, and Ravana

Effigy of Ravana burns


On this day in the Treta Yug, Rama, also called Shri Ram, the seventh avatar of Vishnu, killed the great demon Ravana who had abducted Rama's wife Sita to his kingdom of Lanka. Rama, his brother Lakshmana, their follower Hanuman and an army of monkeys fought a great battle to rescue Sita. The entire narrative is recorded in the epic Ramayana, a Hindu scripture.


Rama had performed "Chandi Homa" and invoked the blessings of Durga, who blessed Rama with secret knowledge of the way to kill Ravana. On the day of Ashvin Shukla Dashami, Rama's party found Sita and defeated Ravana. Thus it is termed as VijayaDashami. Based on the inferences from Valmiki’s Ramayana, Kalidas’s Raghuvans, Tulsidas’s Ram Charit Manas, and Keshavdas's Ram Chandra Yas Chandrika as well as common perception in India, Rama, Sita, and of Lakshmana returned to Ayodhya on the 30th day of Ashvin (19–20 days after Vijayadashmi). To mark the return of Lord Rama, in the evening, the residents of Ayodhya lit their city with millions of earthen lamps (called Deepak). Since then, this day is celebrated in India as Deepawali or Diwali.

Many people perform "Aditya Homa" as a "Shanti Yagna" and recite Sundara Kanda of Srimad Ramayana for 5 days. These Yagna performances are thought to create powerful agents in the atmosphere surrounding the house that will keep the household environment clean and healthy. These rituals are intended to rid the household of the ten bad qualities, which are represented by 10 heads of Ravana as follows:


Kama vasana (Lust)

Krodha (Anger)

Moha (Delusion)

Lobha (Greed)

Mada (Over Pride)

Matsara (Jealousy)

Manas (Mind)

Buddhi (Intellect)

Chitta (Will)

Ahankara (Ego).


Dussehra in different parts of India
Northern India

In Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, it is traditional to plant barley seeds in earthen pots on the first day of Navratri. On the day of dussehra, the nine-day old sprouts (called noratras or nortas or of nav ratris or nine nights) are used as symbols of luck. Men place them in their caps or behind their ears.


In most of northern India and some parts of Maharashtra, Dasha-Hara is celebrated more in honour of Rama. During these 10 days many plays and dramas based on Ramayana are performed. These are called Ramlila. There are outdoor fairs and large parades with effigies of Ravana (a mythical king of ancient Sri Lanka), his brother Kumbhakarna and son Meghanad. The effigies are burnt on bonfires in the evening. After Dussehra, the hot summer ends, especially in North India. The onset of cold weather is believed to encourage infections. The burning of the effigies, filled with firecrackers containing phosphorus, supposedly purifies the atmosphere, while the temples perform Chandi Homa or Durga Homa, with the same intent.


In the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand, the dussehra festival starts with the performance of Ramlila which is unique as it is based on the musical rendering of the katha or story of Lord Rama. It is based on the theatrical traditions set by Uday Shankar during his stay in Almora; these traditions were further enriched by Mohan Upreti and Brijendra Lal Sah. Known as the Almora or Kumaon style, Ramlila has been recognised by UNESCO in its 2008 report as one of the representative styles of Ramlila in India.


Himachal Pradesh

Main article: Kullu Dussehra


Kullu Dussehra is celebrated in Kullu Valley of Himachal Pradesh. It is celebrated in the Dhalpur maidan in the Kullu valley. Dussehra at Kullu commences on the tenth day of the rising moon, i.e. on 'VijayaDashami' day itself and continues for seven days. Its history dates back to the 17th century when local King Jagat Singh installed an idol of Raghunath on his throne as a mark of penance. After this, god Raghunath was declared as the ruling deity of the Valley.
Southern India

Vijayadashami is celebrated in various ways in different parts of South India. Celebrations can take many forms, ranging from worshipping the goddess Chamundeshwari (Durga) to exhibiting colorful toys-, celebrated as Golu in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu from Navratri onwards. Navaratri Golu, dolls and figurine display festival for girls and women in South India


There is a legend related to the exhibition of toys that is known as "Bombe habba" in Karnataka, "Bommala Koluvu" in Andhra Pradesh and Golu or Kolu in Tamil Nadu. Since the goddess Durga needed tremendous power, all other gods and goddesses transferred their power to her and they all stood still as statues. To respect the self-sacrifice of these deities during the festival days, Hindus revere morities, which are small statues in the shape of particular gods and goddesses. Golu ends on dussehra.


Vijayadashami is also the auspicious day for starting their formal education. Students keep their books and workers their tools for puja on the ninth day of Navratri (Ayudha Puja, Saraswathi Puja); these are taken back and used after puja on the tenth day (Vijayadasami). The practice is so old that in many parts of south India, even non-Hindus follow this tradition. In 2004, many churches in Kerala formally adopted the same tradition of introducing young children to education on Dasara day.


Andhra Pradesh

Vijayadashami has great importance in the Telugu household. For life events such as starting a new business/ venture, or buying a new home or vehicle, rituals take place on this auspicious day. They perform Ayudha Puja where they sanctify vehicles and other new items. In the evenings, a procession is taken up in all major cities where people dress up as characters from the Ramayana and perform stage shows called Ramlila. Huge effigies of Ravana, Kumbhakarna and- Indrajit or Meghanada are burned, signifying victory of Lord Rama.


In the Telangana region, younger family members usually pay respects to their elders by giving them leaves of Shami tree/ Jammi tree, and seeking their blessings.


This festival is celebrated in all temples of Durga. Shodasa Upacharam is offered to her. During Navratri ("nine nights"), Goddess Durga is decorated in her different aspects like Bala Tripura Sundari, Mahishasura Mardhini, Annapoorna, Kali, Raja Rajeshwari, Kanaka Durga, Lakshmi, Saraswati and Gayatri Devi. On the river banks of Krishna at Vijayawada, in an age-old temple of "Sri Durga Malleswar Swami" and on a hill called "Indra-Kila-Adri", Dasara & Navratri are celebrated every year with great pomp & show and tens of thousands of people visit this temple during this time. These celebrations are concluded on the tenth day of "Vijaya Dashami", which is usually a national holiday. In Vijayawada on Vijayadashami day, Teppa Utsavam is celebrated, in which Durga's image is placed on a big boat decorated with flowers and lights, is celebrated in the evening.celebrate this festival a lot of people in Telangana region girls play bathukamma and happyness shown
Karnataka

In Karnat- aka, Ayudha Puja, on the ninth day of dussehra, is celebrated with the worship of implements used in daily life such as computers, books, vehicles, or kitchen tools. Buses, trucks and machines in factories are decorated. The effort to see the divine in the tools and objects one uses in daily life is central to this celebration, so it includes all tools that help one earn one's livelihood. Knowledge workers go for books, pen or computers, farmers the plough and other agricultural tools, machinery for industrialists and cars/buses/trucks for the transportation workers—all are decorated with flowers and worshiped on this day invoking God's blessing for success in coming years.


It is believed that any new venture such as starting of business or purchasing of new household items on this day is bound to succeed.


Shastra puja, or the worship of the weapon Shastra/Astra used by Goddess Durga, are worshiped on this day, in some areas.
Mysore dussehra

Main article: Mysore dussehra

Mysore Palace in all its majesty during dussehra


The legend associated with the Shami tree finds commemoration during the renowned Mysore dussehra & Navratri celebrations at Mysore. The Mysore celebrations also strongly emphasize the Durga legend described above, as may be expected in the city built at the very site of the events of the Durga legend. On Vijaydashami day, at the culmination of a colourful 10-day celebration, the goddess Chamundeshwari is worshiped and then borne in a grand procession on a Golden Ambari or elephant-mounted throne through the city of Mysore, from the historical Mysore Palace to the Banni Mantapa. Banni is the Kannada word for the Sanskrit Shami, and Mantapa means "Pavilion".
Madikeri dussehra

Main article: Madikeri dussehra


In Madikeri, dussehra is celebrated in a different style. Madikeri dussehra has a history of over 100 years. dussehra begins with Kargas from four Mariamma Temples. There is a procession of 10 Mantapas from 10 Temples on the night of Vijayadashami.


At midnight, effigies of Ravana, Kumbhakarna and- Indrajit or Meghanada are stuffed with firecrackers and set alight. Children especially enjoy seeing this because of the beautiful fireworks. The festival, which is thought of as the "Victory of Good over Evil" and "Return of Rama from

Exile" is celebrated in grand style. Because the day is auspicious, people inaugurate new vehicles, machines, books, weapons and tools by ceremonially asking god to bless the new items.
Kerala

The last three days of the Navratri festival, i.e. Ashtami, Navami, and Dashami are celebrated as Saraswati Puja. The celebrations start with the Puja Veypu (Offering for Worship). It consists of placing the books for Pooja on the Ashtami day. It may be in one’s own house, in the local

Nursery School run by traditional teachers, or in the local temple. The books will be taken out for reading, after worship, only on the morning of the third day (VijayaDashami). It is called Puja Eduppu (Taking back after Puja). Children are happy since they are not expected to study on

these days. On the Vijayadashami day, Kerala celebrates Vidyarambham also- known as Ezhuthiniruthu or Initia- tion of Writing where children between two and three years old are formally initiated before they are admitted to nursery schools. The child is made to write for the first time

on the rice spread in a plate with the index finger, guided by an elder of the family or by a reputed teacher. The little ones will have to write “Hari Shri Ganapataye Namah” and recite the same to mark the auspicious entry in to the world of education. This is considered a memorable event in the life of a person. Ayudha Puja is also conducted during this period.
Tamil Nadu

In Tamil Nadu, the festival incorporates worship of the goddesses Lakshmi, Saraswati- , and Shakti. In Kulasekarapatnam located 20 km from Tiruchendur (Thoothukudi Dist), dussehra festival is celebrated very uniquely. The Mutharamman temple is extraordinary, as it has God Shiva

and Goddess Shakthi in the same shrine. Any prayers offered in the temple are granted, as Shiva and Shakthi reside in the temple happily together. More than 1,500,000 devotees gather together and celebrate Navratri in this village. This coastal village used to be a port in its earlier days.


People fast on all 9 days and tie a holy thread on fist. People dress up as a different God each day and collect money. The money is offered to the temple on the end of the ninth day. Children love the different casting of people during this season. This festival marks a colorful season in this area.
Western India Maharashtra

In Maharashtra, the festival is celebrated on the tenth day of the month of Ashvin (which falls in October) according to the Shaka Hindu Calendar. These three and a half days in the Hindu Lunar calendar are considered very auspicious. On dussehra day, the deities installed on the first day of the Navratri are immersed in water. This day also marks the victory of Lord Rama over Ravana. People visit each other and exchange sweets. People worship the Aapta tree (Bauhinia variegata) and exchange its leaves (known as golden leaves) as a symbol of gold and wish each other a bright & prosperous future. The tradition of exchanging aapta leaves is synonymous to Raghuraja, an ancestor of Ramachandra and Kubera. Similar to Ayudha Puja in Karnataka, many groups and communities, largely the artisan castes, celebrateKhande navami, the day before dussehra; tools of all kinds are given rest and ritually worshiped. In Maharashtra, people also ritually cross the border of their community, in a ceremony known as Simollanghan, which has its roots in the idea that this day is an auspicious one on which to start ventures. In ancient times kings used the feast of dussehra to cross the frontier and fight against their neighboring kingdoms. Thus dussehra also marks the beginning of the war season.
Eastern India Orissa

VijayaDashami or Dussehra is celebrated as Durga Puja in two different ways in Orissa. In Shakti Peethas or temples of the goddesses, the Durga Puja is observed with rituals for a period of 10 to 16 days, known as Shodasa Upachara. The goddess Durga is also worshipped by devotees in different pendals throughout the state. The pendals are beautifully decorated. The last day of the Sharodiya Durga Puja is known as Vijayadashami. After the last ritual Aparajita Puja is performed to the goddess, a tearful farewell is offered to her. The women offer Dahi-Pakhal (cooked rice soaked in water, with curd), Pitha (baked cakes), Mitha (sweets) and fried fish to the Goddess. Most of the

community pujas postpone the farewell as long as possible and arrange a grand send-off. The images are carried in processions known as Bhasani Jatra or Bisarjan Jatra around the locale and finally are immersed in a nearby river or lake. After the immersion of the deity, people across the state celebrate Ravan Podi, in which they burn an effigy of the demon Ravan.


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