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Dashara Kab Hai: Dates and Significance of the Festival

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Dashara, also known as Dussehra, is a major Hindu festival celebrated in India and other parts of the world. It falls on the tenth day of the Hindu lunar calendar month of Ashwin, which usually falls in the month of September or October. The festival marks the victory of good over evil and is celebrated with great enthusiasm and fervor by people of all ages.

Dates of Dashara

Dashara is celebrated on the tenth day of the Hindu lunar calendar month of Ashwin, which usually falls in the month of September or October. The exact date of Dashara varies each year as it is based on the lunar calendar. In 2020, Dashara falls on October 25th.

Significance of Dashara

Dashara holds great significance in Hindu mythology and is celebrated for different reasons in different parts of India. The most popular legend associated with Dashara is the victory of Lord Rama over the demon king Ravana. According to the Hindu epic Ramayana, Lord Rama, with the help of Hanuman and his army of monkeys, defeated Ravana and rescued his wife Sita from captivity. The victory of good over evil is celebrated on Dashara as a symbol of righteousness and truth prevailing over falsehood and injustice.

In the eastern parts of India, Dashara is celebrated as the victory of Goddess Durga over the buffalo demon Mahishasura. The festival is known as Durga Puja and is celebrated with grand processions, rituals, and cultural events. In the southern parts of India, Dashara is celebrated as the victory of Goddess Chamundeshwari over the demon Mahishasura. The festival is known as Navaratri and is celebrated with nine days of fasting, prayers, and dance performances.

In addition to the mythological significance, Dashara is also celebrated as the harvest festival in many parts of India. Farmers thank the gods for a successful harvest and pray for prosperity and good fortune in the coming year. The festival is also a time for family gatherings, feasting, and exchanging gifts with loved ones.

Celebration of Dashara

The celebration of Dashara varies from region to region in India, but there are some common rituals and traditions that are followed by most people. The festival begins with the installation of idols of Lord Rama, Sita, Lakshmana, and Hanuman in temporary shrines or pandals. The idols are adorned with flowers, garlands, and traditional clothes, and worshipped with prayers and offerings.

On the day of Dashara, people wake up early in the morning, take a ritual bath, and visit temples to offer prayers to the gods. They also visit friends and family members to exchange greetings and sweets. In the evening, effigies of Ravana, Kumbhakarna, and Meghanada are burnt in public grounds to symbolize the victory of good over evil.

Another popular ritual of Dashara is the worship of weapons and tools. People clean and decorate their weapons, tools, and vehicles, and offer prayers to Goddess Chamundeshwari for protection and prosperity. It is believed that worshipping weapons on Dashara brings success and good luck in battles and business ventures.

FAQs

Q: What is the significance of burning effigies on Dashara?

A: Burning effigies of Ravana, Kumbhakarna, and Meghanada on Dashara symbolizes the victory of good over evil. It is believed that by burning the effigies, people are destroying the negative forces that prevent them from living a righteous and virtuous life.

Q: Why is Dashara celebrated for ten days?

A: Dashara is celebrated for ten days to commemorate the ten-headed demon king Ravana, who was defeated by Lord Rama on the tenth day of the battle. The ten days of celebrations are a reminder of the victory of good over evil and the importance of righteousness and truth in our lives.

Q: What is the significance of worshipping weapons on Dashara?

A: Worshipping weapons on Dashara is a tradition that dates back to ancient times when warriors and kings used to invoke the blessings of the gods before going into battle. It is believed that by worshipping weapons on Dashara, people are seeking protection and strength to face the challenges and obstacles in their lives.

Q: How is Dashara celebrated in different parts of India?

A: Dashara is celebrated in different ways in different parts of India. In the northern parts of India, people perform Ram Lila, a theatrical reenactment of the life of Lord Rama. In the eastern parts of India, people celebrate Durga Puja with grand processions, rituals, and cultural events. In the southern parts of India, people celebrate Navaratri with nine days of fasting, prayers, and dance performances.

Q: What are some traditional dishes prepared during Dashara?

A: Some traditional dishes prepared during Dashara include puran poli, chana masala, kheer, and sabudana khichdi. These dishes are made with seasonal ingredients and are considered auspicious for the festival. People also offer these dishes to the gods as prasad during the rituals.

In conclusion, Dashara is a festival of great significance in Hindu culture and is celebrated with joy and enthusiasm by millions of people around the world. The festival symbolizes the victory of good over evil and the importance of righteousness and truth in our lives. By observing the rituals and traditions of Dashara, people seek blessings and protection from the gods for a prosperous and successful life.

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