On this day Indians world-over will celebrate the culmination of the ten-day Navratri and Durgapuja festival.
It may be known in some regions as Vijayadashami and in parts of southern India, it is known as Dasara. Other regional spellings include Dashera and Dussera.
The festival of Dussehra symbolizes the triumph of good over evil.
The festival traditionally represents the legend of Rama and Ravana.
Ravana, the demon king, abducted the beloved princess and wife of Rama, Sita.
Lord Rama rescued the princess, proving victorious over the powerful Ravana.
On the day of Dussehra, large statues of Ravana are constructed and brought into open fields.
These effigies are burned and with them the evil they represent, so that the people are allowed to follow the path of virtue and goodness throughout the year.
On the ninth day of Dussehra, Ayudha Puja is celebrated in several regions of India. Celebrations may involve many common and seemingly mundane tools and implements used in everyday life, such as computers, books, cars, or kitchen tools. During the reign of the kings, weapons were worshipped on this day.
In the southern India states, this festival is called Navaratri (‘nine nights’) and revolves around the worship of the goddesses Lakshmi and Sarasvati. Lakshmi is associated with good luck and wealth, and Sarasvati is linked with wisdom and fertility.
The festival is a time for visiting friends and relatives, and houses are decorated with colorful displays of toys and images of gods. In Gujarat these are nine days of music and dancing.