“Dusshera” is celebrated all over India and Nepal. In Nepal it is called as Dashain. It’s regarded as the celebration of good over evil having its roots in mythological references.
Lord Rama’s victory over Ravana
Ramayana, the epic in Hindu religion describes that Ravana’s sister Shoorpanakha fell in love with the Rama and Lakshmana and wanted to marry either of them. Shoorpanakha threatened to kill Sita because of which Lakshmana cut off her nose and ears. Angered Ravana kidnaps Sita. Then, Rama and Lakshmana fought a battle to free Sita from Ravana.
Goddess Gurga’s victory over Mahishasura
Mahishasura was a part demon and part buffalo. As a reward for his meditation of thousands of years, Lord Brahma blessed him with immortality from men and gods on his request. But in his arrogance, he destroyed the earth. Being scared, all the gods pleaded Lord Brahma to have mercy. Then Lord Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh and all other gods created a beautiful bright light from which Goddess Durga appeared. As Mahishasura was protected from only men and god, there was absolutely no stopping for Goddess Durga from killing him. Hence, in some parts it is also called as “Vijayadashami”.
These two mythological stories are most prevalent for celebrating the festival of Dusshera. But still there are many other significances of this day for different communities with different celebrations.
Celebrations in India and Nepal
In India, Dusshera is the last day of Navratri (Nine nights) Festival. Fairs are held to celebrate this day. Food offerings, burning of effigies of Ravana take place. Household items or work tools are worshipped by placing flowers on them. Ramleela (A drama to play acts of Ramayana) are held in northern parts of India. In South India, a large procession is held celebrating Chamundeshwari goddess.
In Nepal, apart from fairs the major attraction is musical programs playing the “Malshree Dhun” which is a special tune for Autumn similar to Carols of Christmas. Large rituals are held in Dashain in various temples. Also, kite flying programs are held across many cities. Last but not least, Nepalese food including Goat pakku, Bhatmas Sadheko are major attraction during Dashain.
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