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Dussehra or Daserra

Dussehra in 2010 is on Sunday, the 17th of October.

Dussehra is a festival that marks the victory of good over evil. It is a Hindu festival, which is celebrated all over India to mark the defeat of Ravana by Lord Rama. Dussehra also symbolizes the triumph of warrior Goddess Durga over the buffalo demon, Mahishasura. On this day, effigies of Ravana, his son and brother -Meghnadh and Kumbhakarna, are set to fire. Along with this, a Ramlila is also organized. This is a theatrical enactment of the dramatic encounter between Lord Rama and Ravana in the quest to free the former's wife, Sita.

Dusshera Puja in India varies from place to place. The festivities last for ten days, of which nine nights are spent in worship. The tenth day is devoted to the worship of goddess Durga. In Bengal, idols of the Mother Goddess are worshipped for nine days, and on the ninth day, these are carried out in procession for immersion in a river. The word Dussehra comes from the word 'Dus' meaning 'Ten' and 'Hara', meaning 'annihilated'. So Dussehra is the day in which the 10 faces of the evil Ravana were destroyed.

Dussehra day is also known as Vijaya Dasami, because of the victory of Ram over Ravana. In Tamil Nadu, the festival is celebrated with three days worship each of Lakshmi, Goddess of wealth and prosperity; Saraswati, Goddess of learning and arts; and Shakti (Durga). In Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, families arrange dolls and prepare an elaborate spread of lamps and flowers. Families traditionally exchange gifts of coconuts, clothes and sweets on the occasion..

Amisha Patel
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