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What Do People Do On Dussehra?
Many Hindus celebrate Dussehra with special prayer services and food offerings to the gods at home or in temples all over India. They also have outdoor fairs (called melas) and big parades with effigies of Ravana (a mythical king of ancient Sri Lanka). The effigies are burned on bonfires in the evening. Dussehra is the final day of the Navaratri festival.
There are many local celebrations in some parts of India that can last up to 10 days. Local events include:
The Ramlila, a short version of the epic Ramayana, was put on in Northern India.
A large festival and parade with the goddess Chamundeshwari on a throne carried by elephants in the town of Mysore in the state of Karnataka.
The blessing of books, computers, cooking pans, and vehicles in the state of Karnataka.
How to make special foods like Luchi (deep-fried flat bread) and Alur Dom (deep-fried spiced potato snacks) in Bengal.
Many Hindus also believe that it is lucky to start a new business, project, or journey on Dussehra. They might also give each other leaves from the Shami tree as a reminder of how the Pandavas brothers went into exile in the Mahabharata stories.
Background of Dussehra
The Hindu festival of Dussehra commemorates the victory of the hero Rama over the demon king Ravana as well as the triumph of good over evil. The legendary Ramayana recounts the account of Lord Rama, who succeeds in wooing the beautiful Sita and making her his bride, only to have her kidnapped by Ravana, the ruler of Lanka’s demonic race.
In the epic of the Ramayana, Ravana is given a significant part to perform. Shoorpanakha was Ravana’s sister, and she was recognised by that name. She developed romantic feelings for the twin brothers Rama and Lakshamana and considered proposing to either one of them. Both Lakshamana and Rama were unable to marry her since Rama was already married to Sita. Lakshamana refused to marry her.
Shoorpanakha made a death threat on Sita so that she might win Rama’s hand in marriage. Because of this, Lakshamana became enraged, and he severed Shoorpanakha’s nose and ears. Ravana takes Sita captive as a means of exacting revenge for his sister’s misfortunes. In a subsequent fight, Rama and Lakshamana battled to win the freedom of Sita. They were assisted by the deity of monkeys, Hanuman, as well as an enormous army of monkeys.
The Mahabharata is another another collection of Hindu tales that is relevant to the Dussehra celebration in some way. The Pandavas were a group of five brothers who battled against the powers of evil with a variety of unique weaponry. They surrendered their arms and then went into exile for a period of one year. They concealed their weapons in a Shami tree, and when they returned from their exile, they discovered the weapons still in the same position. After that, they paid their respects to the tree before heading into the conflict, which they ultimately prevailed in. During the festival of Dussehra, there is also a commemoration of this epic.