What is Dussehra Festival?
The Dussehra Festival (Vijayadashami) celebrates the victory of Lord Rama (an avatar of the Hindu deity Vishnu) over the demon king Ravana.
Between September and October every year the streets of most every city and town in Northern India come to life with reenactments of the Hindu epic Ramayana. The struggle of light over darkness and good versus evil plays out in the streets with actors portraying gods and demons battling for supremacy over creation.
According to Hindu mythology, the demon king Ravana abducted Lord Rama's wife, Sita. In response, Lord Rama and his brother, Lakshmana, along with Hanuman the monkey king's army of primates breached the demonic kingdom in an epic battle to rescue Sita. After an intense battle, the demon king Ravana was slain, and the gods declared the auspicious day a holy festival celebrating the victory of light over darkness.
The day-long festival concludes in the evening when effigies of the demon king Ravana, his son and brother are burned. The effigies are often stuffed with fireworks resulting in a spectacularly bright end to the day's festivities.
When is Dussehra Festival?
Because of the Hindu religious calendar, the exact date for the Dussehra festival varies year-to-year, but usually falls between September and October. Different regions may also choose slightly varying times to celebrate the festival.
Dussehra marks the 10th and final day of the Navaratri Festival.
Where is Dussehra Festival Celebrated?
While the Dussehra festival is celebrated across most of India, it’s traditionally a Northern Indian holiday with the biggest celebrations often taking place in holy Hindu cities like Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh.
Dussehra Festival Highlights:
It's a rare thing to see the gods come to life and walk the earth alongside mankind, and cultural enthusiasts on our luxury tours of India are never disappointed in the chance to witness this ancient spectacle.
Dress for warm weather, but keep in mind many Hindu temples require shoulders, arms, and knees to be covered while on holy ground and some temple areas may require visitors to remove their shoes upon entrance.