Dussehra: All Things to Know

VijayaDashmi also known as Dussehra is a festival of appreciation of good and the power of good to overcome evil. This joyful and inspiring festival is celebrated by people all across India and is celebrated in different styles in different parts of the country. According to hindu mythology, it is called VijayaDashmi. It is written in texts that it was this day that Lord Rama defeated Ravana, the king of Lanka. This was done by Lord Rama to save his wife Sita, ending the battle by cutting the ten heads of Ravana on the tenth day of the epic battle. So, to celebrate these days, big wooden figures of Ravana, his brother Kumbhakarna and son Meghnath are made, these are filled with crackers and burnt every year on Dussehra. Apart from this across the country there is another popular thing, which is Ramleela ( play showcasing the story of Ramayana that describes the story of Lord Rama). The play goes on for days and is presented daily before a few days from Dussehra, it being the last day.

As per Hindu calendar, the festivities of Dussehra are celebrated for 10 days and it can be in the month of Ashvin or Ashwayuja( September to October). The preceding nine days to Dussehra are called Navratri and are dedicated to 9 avatars of Maa Durga. Now as we all know at different places, it is celebrated differently too. Like in West Bengal, the tenth day is celebrated as Durga Puja. This festival in West bengal is celebrated at a huge lever, all the shops are closed and everyone is busy celebrating the day. This is the day where all people show their respect and love towards Maa Durga. Ultimately, her idols are made and immersed in the water with tremendous pomp and show. In south India on the other hand, in states like Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, puja of Saraswati Maa is done on the day of Dussehra. The education of small children commences from this auspicious day, this auspicious day is also called Vidya Aarambham. In Mysore, Dussehra is known for its famous Grandeur. All these might be different ways of celebrating Dussehra, but everyone who celebrates it, celebrated the victory of good over evil.
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Why is Dussehra Celebrated?

The main reason to celebrate Dussehra is to celebrate the victory of Lord Rama over King of Lanka, known as Ravana. Dussehra is also about the feminine goddess or the female divinity. Vijayadashami celebrates the Feminine Divinity which is the “Cosmic Energy” that protects and sustains life on the planet Earth. Vijayadashami brings success and victory to our life. It is a cultural festival of great importance and significance for all Hindus.

Dussehra is the day that follows the nine days of Navratri. After nine days of Navratri, the tenth and final day is Dussehra or Vijayadashami.

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Traditional Celebrations

The festival of Dussehra is celebrated to acknowledge the victory of good over evil. The celebrations of Dussehra begin from the very first day of Navratri and continue till the tenth day. A special programme called “Ramlila”, which is the dramatic enactment of the great epic, Ramayana, is organised in various parts of the country. This continues for the nine days of Navratri and finally on the tenth day (Dussehra), actors dressed up as Rama and Laxman act out the final moments of the battle and shoot flaming arrows at the giant effigies of ten-headed Ravana, his brother Kumbhakarna and son Meghnath which are placed in vast open grounds (where huge crowds gather to witness this act of burning the evil). This is followed by extravagant fireworks.


How to celebrate Dussehra at home?

This is a really important festival in the Hindu Calendar and celebrated with great enthusiasm all across the country. Everyone celebrates this festival with their friends and family. Here are some of the tips to celebrate Dussehra at home: –

  • You can dress up your children in the avatars of Lord Rama or Lord Laxman or other characters of Ramayana. You can perform scenes at home and cherish the festival.
  • You can recite the stories about the victory of Lord Rama to your children and carry forward the knowledge about our Mythology.
  • Take your children to local fairs or melas to show them Ramleela.
  • Buy your kids, toys like the shank or cardboard swords, dhanush, teer kaman etc. You can even get them masks of a few characters.
  • You can even get small effigies of Ravana to burn at home.So enjoy the day with your children and let them know the importance of this festival. This is an opportunity for parents to teach them the victory of good over evil to their kids.

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Food For Dussehra

It is said that there is custom of eating Jalebis on the day of Dussehra, since its day that remarks victory of good, it celebrated by having sweets and majorly everyone eats jalebi on that day.

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  • 3 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 cup thickened yoghurt (curd)
  • 1/2 cup ghee
  • 3 cup sugar
  • 5 strand saffron
  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered green cardamom
  • 1/2 cup corn flour
  • 1 1/2 pinch baking soda
  • 2 cup sunflower oil
  • 3 cup water
  • 4 drops rose essence
  • 1/2 teaspoon edible food color

How to 

  1. For making this easy dessert recipe, mix maida, corn flour and baking soda in a bowl. Now add ghee and orange food colour in the above mixture. To make a thick batter, add curd and water. Mix well until it is thick but has a pouring consistency. Keep it aside for 8 hours or overnight. 8-10 hours. To make the sugar syrup, heat water in a pan over medium flame. Add sugar and mix until fully dissolved. Simmer the syrup until it attains one string consistency. Add saffron, cardamom powder and rose essence. Stir well.


  2. Now heat oil in a pan over medium flame for deep frying. Now fill the jalebi batter in a muslin cloth and pierce a small hole in the cloth. Squeeze the muslin cloth to make concentric circles. Move from inside to outside to make perfect circles. Fry till jalebis are crisp and golden.

     

  3. Soak the jalebis in sugar syrup for 2-3 minutes. Ensure that the sugar syrup is warm and not very hot. Now remove from the syrup and place on a tray lined with butter paper or foil. Decorate with silver foil and serve the jalebis hot, warm or at room temperature with creamy Rabri.

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