India is a country of festivals and Dussehra is one of the popular festivals.

Dussehra is one of those festivals of India where the whole country celebrates with a great zeal and enthusiasm.

Understanding of Dussehra

Dussehra is popularly known as Vijayadashmi and this name is derived from the Sanskrit word- Dasha Hara which means- the end of ten-headed demon- Ravana.

Dussehra is a Hindu festival celebrated on the 10th day at the end of Navratri. Navratri is a celebration that takes place for nine days in devotion to Maa Durga.

Why people celebrate Dussehra?

There are various stories attached to this day, Dussehra.

Maa Durga (Chamundeshwari) ended the life of buffalo demon named, Mahishasura, just to give an end to his evil deeds and restore the dharma. And, that day is celebrated as “Vijayadashmi” in most of the eastern as well as northeastern states of India.

There was another victory on that day which God Rama got over the demon Ravana. So, Indians in the southern, northern, and western states, celebrate this day as God Rama’s victory.

Also, Indians remember this day as Arjuna single-handedly defeated the entire army of Kaurava consisting of more than 10,000 soldiers.

So, these are the reasons why people celebrate Dussehra or Vijayadashmi in India and Indians living abroad.

But, one thing that remains common among all of these reasons to celebrate Dussehra- the victory of good over the evil.

That is the reason why Dussehra is considered to be the most special day to do something great. Indians wait for the whole year to buy something or do something new.

For example-

  • Buying high-valued jewellery, vehicle, new home, etc.
  • Starting a new business, opening a new shop, going into a new house, starting wedding shopping, etc.
Navratri Offers on Jewellery
Dussehra is the best day to start something new, something fresh. 

How people celebrate Dussehra in India?

Dussehra not only have different names, but it is also celebrated in different ways across India.

Let’s see how Indians celebrate Dussehra:

01. North India

Kullu-Dussehra-celebration

In the northern states of India, Dussehra is popularly celebrated as Kullu Dussehra. It takes place in the Dhalpur Maidan, Kullu valley in Himachal Pradesh.

There’s an International Mega Dussehra festival that starts on the day of Vijayadashami and continues for 7 days. It is said that, during the 17th Century, King Jagat Singh placed an idol of Raghunath on his throne as a mark of penance.

And, that day is remembered as Vijayadashmi there. On that day, various exhibitions, processions, activities and much more take place.

In North India, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh esp in Banaras, Navaratri is marked by the numerous Ramlila events, where episodes from the story of Rama and Ravana are enacted by teams of artists in rural and urban centers, inside temples or in temporarily constructed stages.

02. West India

garba-celebration-during-dussehra

Western India covers Gujarat, Rajasthan, and even Maharashtra where Dussehra is celebrated as the 10th day of Navratri- which is the end of the festival. In Navratri, people in western India dance on the tunes of Garba, a folk dance of Gujarat.

The Garba begins with the Aarti of Maa Durga followed by the late-night Garba. And, Garba is the attraction of Dussehra festival in Gujarat and surrounding states.

In Navratri, people wear traditional wear of Gujarat. For men, that includes Dhoti and Kediyu and for women,it is the chaniyacholi.

garba-women-wear

Women have this liberty to keep on changing the trends of jewelleryduringNavratri. Real traditional jewellery includes oxidized jewellery. But, nowadays, women wear something based on their preferences that include simple earrings, funky rings, pendant necklaces,and colourful, stone worked or mirror work adorable bangles such as below.

traditional jewellery

So, during Navratri, playing Garba is a sure-thing.

Even, there is one more tradition in Gujarat to have Fafda Jalebi on the day of Dussehra. It is said that any fast must end with Fafda and there are people who do fasting during those nine days. And, Jalebi is said to be the favorite sweet of Lord Rama.

Hence, people at Gujarat eat Fafda and Jalebi on that day.

fafda-jalebi-dussehra-celebration

Well, when there is Gujarat, food is an obvious thing. And, Dussehra is not at all an exception.

03. South India

mysuru-dassara-celebration

Not precisely all the states of southern India, but specifically Karnataka celebrates this festival as Mysore Dasara as its origin is Mysore (Mysuru). The city of Mysuru has a long tradition of celebrating the Dasara festival with grandeur and pomp to mark the festival.

Here, the festival is celebrated as Maa Chamundeshwari (Durga) killed the demon Mahishasura because of his evil deeds. And, based on that incident, the name of the city is given as Mysuru.

Other than this, there are musical and dance concerts held at Mysore and there are Kushtispardha(wrestling competitions) that brings wrestlers from all across India. The ninth day of Dasara called as Mahanavami is also an auspicious day on which the royal sword is worshipped and is taken on a procession involving elephants, camels, and horses.

The main attraction of the ten-day Mysore Dasara festival is the Mysore Palace which is illuminated daily with nearly 100,000 light bulbs from 7 pm to 10 pm on all days of the festival. Various cultural and religious programs highlighting the dance, music, and culture of the State of Karnataka are performed in front of the illuminated Palace.

Mysore Palace

The people residing in Karnataka and nearby states come to Mysore to witness this festival’s charm and aura.

In Tamilnadu, like the rest of India, the festival has been an occasion for performance arts, particularly Hindu temple dances such as Bharatanatyam and Mohiniyattam. Another notable Tamil tradition is a celebration of the festival with Golu dolls (also spelled asGollu). These include gods, goddesses, animals, birds and rural life all in a miniature design. People set up their own creative themes in their homes, called Kolu, friends, and families invite eachother to visit their homes to view Kolu displays, then exchange gifts and sweets.

In Kerala and some parts of Karnataka three days: Ashtami, Navami, and Vijaya Dashami of Sharada Navarathri are celebrated as Sarasvati Puja in which books are worshiped.

Sarasvati Puja Kerala

04. East India

Eastern India consists of West Bengal, Odisha, Assam, Tripura and even Bangladesh where Dussehra is celebrated as the Durga Puja and also in Nepal where it is called Dashain.

The start of the festival sees huge, elaborately crafted statues of Goddess Durga installed in homes and beautifully decorated podiums all over the city. At the end of the festival, the statues are paraded through the streets, accompanied by music and dancing, and then immersed in the water.

The statue of Maa Durga is hugely and gorgeously made in Pandals and the puja is performed on Sashti, Saptami, Ashtami, and Navami. But, the grand Durga Puja is held on the 10th day.

East-India-Dusshera-Celebration

The tenth and last day, begins with Sindoor Khela, where married women smear sindoor or vermillion on the Goddess' idol, on her forehead and feet, before smearing it on each other. Since sindoor is like an ornament for married women, this ritual signifies them wishing each other a happy married life.

Women traditionally wear white saree with maroon or red border. And, along with that saree, they wear gold or any other high-valued jewellery including necklaces, rings, earrings, and even bangles.

When the procession reaches the water, Durga is immersed, the clay dissolves, and she is believed to return to Mount Kailasha with Shiva and cosmos in general.

Most women also prefer to wear tanmaniya on this auspicious day-

buy-tanmaniya-online

This is how Eastern India celebrates the Dussehra festival.

Final Thoughts

Now, you know that how Indians celebrate Dussehra in different ways in different states of the country.

But, did you notice one thing?

Dussehra across India helps people to come together and celebrate the festival with each other.

People are busy in their lives during normal days. But, this festival brings people together to celebrate the goodness. And, that they celebrate it in a grand way. That is why we Indians love festivals and it is truly called the country of festivals.

Also, as with any festival in India, the clothing and ornamentation form a crucial part of the celebrations. What’d you say? So, enhance your looks with great gold and diamond jewellery.

On behalf of Ketan Diamonds, we wish you all a great festive time, Happy Navratri!