Today is the ninth day (Navami) of Dussehra, a festival which marks the triumph of good over evil. The festival will culminate with Vijaydashami tomorrow. People across India celebrate the day with great zeal and enthusiasm. Plays from Ramayana showcasing the final moments of the battle are also performed by the artists in different parts of the country.
According to mythology, Vijayadashami is considered to be the day when Goddess Durga defeated the evil demon Mahishasura after fighting with him for 9 consecutive days.
In terms of seasons, Dussehra marks the beginning of winter. Almost every part of India considers Dussehra to be an auspicious day and celebrates the festival in its own way.
Artists dressed as Lord Rama, Sita and Laksmana during a Dussehra procession
Legend says that Dussehra is the day when Rama defeated Ravana and started his journey towards Ayodhya.Ravana was the demon king of Lanka and Lord Rama defeated him to rescue his wife Sita after a long battle. Lord Rama was helped in the battle by Vanar Sena.
Ravana effigies are burnt in several parts of the country
Effigies of demon king Ravana are burnt as a symbol of the victory of good over evil across the country.One of the most famous plays is hosted in Delhi's Ramlila ground. Three massive effigies of Ravana, Kumbhakarna and Meghnath are set ablaze at Ramlila ground every year on Vijay Dashami.
Kumari Puja is celebrated on the eighth and ninth day of Navaratri festival. Nine young girls representing the nine forms of Goddess Durga (Navadurga) are worshipped.The kanyas or the little girls are bathed in the holy Ganga water, dressed in a crimson red or bright orange saree and are adorned with jewellries, are worshipped.
Maha Asthami puja at Dakhheneswar Temple in Kolkata
Weapons of the Goddess were also worshipped as per the ritual of the Maha Ashtami day called ‘Astra Puja'.Devotees made beelines at puja pandals and shrines to perform the rituals on Thursday. In Karnataka, vehicles, tools and machines are worshipped as part of Ayudha Pooje.
Mysuru Palace illuminated for Dusshera
Dussehra celebration in Karnataka is of a flavour different from the rest of the country, especially in royal city of Mysuru. The Mysore Dasara is a celebration that lasts throughout Navratri, and it is actually the state festival or Nada Habba of Karnataka. The ten-day festival actually ends on the day of Vijayadashami, when it is said that the goddess Chamundeshwari, a manifestation of Durga, destroyed the demon Mahishasura.
Mysuru gets its name from the vanquished demon. It is a shortened version of Mahishasurana Ooru, or the abode of Mahishasura, and is closely associated with the mythological tale.
(Images credit - PTI)