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Durgotsava, Vijaydashmi or Dussehra differs in every region in India. Dussehra is a festival which marks the death of the ‘Ten Headed’ king of Lanka, The evil Ravana.
The significance of Dussehra —
According to the Ramayana – the great Indian epic, Lord Rama, went into exile for fourteen years. He faced many hardships during this period, along with his devoted consort Seeta and his faithful brother Laxman. Ravana, a great scholar and the ten headed demon king of Lanka abducted Seeta and took her to his kingdom.
Lord Rama with his brother Laxman, follower Hanuman, and an army of monkeys on his side fought a great battle for ten days to rescue Seeta and destroy Ravana. Rama prayed to the Goddess of war — Durga for nine days and killed Ravana on the tenth day. Dussehra celebrates the victory of good over evil, as Rama the good king, killed Ravana – the evil one on this day. This is the reason why effigies of Ravana and his brothers, Meghnada and Kumbhkarna are burnt all over India, on this day.
Dussehra, also known as Vijayadashmi, also symbolizes the victory of Goddess Durga over Mahishasura, the demon. These two legends are connected to the celebration of Dussehra in India.
The killing of Ravana by Lord Rama is enacted over 10 days by local actors, known as Ramlila. Huge effigies of the ten-headed Ravana, his brother Kumbhakarna and his son Meghnada are placed in an open ground. The main events of the rescue of Seeta, as written in Ramayana are staged by the actors.
An actor dressed as Lord Rama shoots an arrow of fire at the navel of the Ravana effigy symbolizing the defeat of evil and the death of Ravana. The three effigies stuffed with firecrackers, start burning. As the huge effigies burn with deafening blasts, spectators shout with happiness and triumph and witness a sky full of splendid fireworks.
Thereafter, Lord Rama rescues his consort Seeta and takes off in a chariot. With the burning of the effigies, the assembled people are asked to burn the evil within them, and follow the path of virtue and goodness.
Dussehra gives a message that no matter how strong evil is, good always prevails. With the example of Ravana, people celebrate
Source – Wikipedia
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