India, largely known as a land of diversity has diverse tales about every festival. Dussehra is a Hindu festival celebrated after the nine pious days of Navratri on the tenth day of lunar month Ashwin. It overlaps September and October of the Gregorian calendar. The tenth day is Vijaya Dashami, or the festival of victory, symbolizing the moment when Truth dawns within. The number 10 in numerology is also the number of new beginnings.
Dussehra is the combination of the words Dasa and Hara, which means removing ten heads. The name owes itself to the beheading of the ten-headed Ravana by Lord Rama There are unknown facts and stories about the festival that you may have never heard of!
1. Change of Seasons
There has always been a scientific twist behind the Indian traditions. This is the time between the change of season, is when Dussehra is celebrated.
Vasanta Navratri (March-April) — marks the beginning of the summer season.
Sharada Navratri (September-October) — marks the beginning of the winter season.
2. Dussehra is not just about Rama and Ravana
In West Bengal, mainly Kolkata, this day is celebrated as the victory of Maa Durga over the demon Mahishasura. That is the reason this day is also known as Vijayadashmi.
In Mysore, this day is celebrated as the victory of Goddess Chamundeshwari over the demon Mahishasura. This tradition was started by the Vijayanagara Kings in the fifteenth century. Mysore Dussehra celebrations still hold the old world charm.
The history of Kullu Dussehra dates back to the 17th century Raghunathji was brought to Kullu from Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh, and became the head deity of Kullu Valley. Every year at Dussehra around 200 of the local deities come to Dholpur Maidan to offer their respects to Raghunathji. The festival is the only one of its kind in the entire Himalayan region, and it continues to grow year by year. It is a huge event for local people. It is not just about gods and their devotees—there are other cultural festivals that take place at this time, as well as sporting events and small-scale trade.
Hyderabad’s Bathukamma, Bastar Dussehra, Chennai’s Bommaikolu, Dussehra in Varanasi, Madikeri Dasara and Kulasekarapattinam Dasara. Everyone needs to witness these exclusive Dussehra celebrations at least once in their lifetime.
In Kerala, Dussehra is considered as an auspicious day to introduce little kids to the World of letters. Children between the age group of 3-5 years begin their learning phase by writing the mantra “Om Hari Shree Ganapathaye Namah”, on a tray filled with rice.
4. Ashoka’s conversion to Buddhism
It is believed that after seeing the deaths and destruction during the Kalinga war, King Ashoka was devastated and converted his religion to Buddhism. This is the reason, Dussehra is not just celebrated by Indians, but even the Buddhists value the importance of Dussehra and it is a sacred day for them.