Dussehra or Dashara or Dassera; all the names may have different spellings but have the same meaning. ‘Dus’ meaning ten and ‘hara’ means to defeat. The festival symbolizes the defeat of ten-headed Raavan at the hands of Lord Rama. This victory is celebrated on the 10th day of Ashwin month according to the Hindu calendar. Raavan took away Lord Rama’s wife goddess Sita and kept her in his palace in Lanka. Lord Rama with the help of vanara sena and Hanuman reached Lanka and killed him before freeing his wife.
This is not only the story that is said in support of Dusshera importance and significance. There are others also. Like the killing of Mahishasura. Mahishasura was a demon who got a boon from Brahma that he cannot be killed by any man on earth. Mahishasura took utmost advantage of this and started to harass people. His atrocities grew so far and wide that it even rich Devlok. Not only people but even Dev were perpetrated. Then, all the three gods, Brahma, Vishnu and Shiv combined their powers together and Maa Durga was made. As she was a woman, the demon accepted her challenge. Maa Durga fought with him for nine days fiercely and killed him on the ninth day of Ashwin and so the 10th day is celebrated as Vijaya dashami.
One more legend in this regard is that of return of Pandavas to Hasthinapur. Pandavas were defeated in a game of dice by Kauravas. Pandavas were to spend their next 12 years of vanavas, to spend in forests and 1year in exile. While in exile they had to hide their weapons as their weapons were their identification. The day they came back from exile and brought down their weapons from Jammi tree is the day when Dassera is celebrated.
Dussera celebration in India is no less than any other festival. People clean the houses, keep fast for the nine days and then play dandia or Garba during these nine nights. Dassehr Puja vidhi starts on the first day when Kalash or Ghat or Garbi is installed and then the rituals are performed. The fast starts on the first day and everyday Goddess is prayed in a different name or guise as it is believed that she has 9 forms. In which Durga, Kali, Saraswati, Lakshmi, Lalitha are some forms.
This is the time to gift some religious things like dassehra puja Date accessories. As it is a festival full of religious rituals, puja thalis, Diyas and accessories like floor rangolis, idols of goddess Durga or Lakshmi. One can also try to send some sweets or dry fruits as people can have them during fast. Even a kalash can be gifted which will be used for puja. Brass or silver wear can be also be gifted.
Dassehra 2018 importance in India is huge. It is celebrated with great devotion and enthusiasm. Home decor and home appliances can make a good option as a gift. If all these are not our pick then fresh flowers and chocolates can be considered. Whatever be the gift let the authenticity of the festival belittled in any way.
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