Vijayadashami, also known as Dussehra or Dasara, is a major Hindu festival celebrated at the end of Navratri. It marks the triumph of Lord Rama over Ravana, the ten-headed demon who abducted Rama’s wife, Sita.
Vijayadashami is celebrated all across India in multiple different ways.
In South India, Durga—the Hindu goddess of strength and motherhood—is worshiped, major temples and forts are lit up in Mysore (a major hub for Vijayadashami celebrations), and many households host Golus (the festive display of dolls and figurines). Additionally, it has been a common tradition in South India to also dedicate this festival to Saraswati, the Hindu goddess of knowledge, learning, music, and the arts. During Saraswathi Puja, which occurs the day before Vijayadashami, many households clean and worship their books, instruments, and tools and avoid doing any work to pay their respects to both Goddess Durga and Goddesses Saraswati. Then on Vijayadashami, they practice their arts and work.
In West India, people fast, go to the temple to pray, wear new clothes, and participate in Garba and Dandiya Raas, regional dances originating from the state of Gujarat. Additionally, many farmers plant their crops on the day that Vijayadashami (also known as Dussehra in many north and west Indian states) occurs because it is believed to have an important association with agricultural activities.
In North India, Vijayadashami is celebrated in honor of Rama, and many theatrical performances that tell the Ramayana and Ramlila are hosted in the historically important Hindu cities of Ayodhya, Varanasi, Vrindavan, Almora, Satna, and Madhubani. Additionally, large statues of Ravana are burnt on this day to honor the triumph of Lord Rama over Ravana.
Natyalaya School of Dance is hosting a Vijayadashami celebration on October 7th from 6-8 pm at the studio where all students are welcome to join us for prayers and can bring prasad in the form of flowers and fruits! Vijayadashami is an auspicious day to practice your art or work and is also considered a good day to start new lessons or gain a new teacher.