Dussehra 2023: Vijayadashami, or Dussehra, celebrates the victory of good over evil in Hinduism. It falls on October 24, 2023, and varies yearly.
Vijayadashami, also known as Dussehra, is one of the most important Hindu festivals that celebrates the victory of good over evil. It is observed on the tenth day of the Navratri festival, which is dedicated to the worship of Goddess Durga. Vijayadashami also marks the end of the epic war between Lord Rama and the demon king Ravana, as well as the triumph of Goddess Durga over the buffalo demon Mahishasura. The festival symbolizes the power of righteousness and justice over evil forces.
Vijayadashami 2023: Date and Time
In 2023, Vijayadashami will be celebrated on Tuesday, October 24th. The date and time of the festival are determined by the lunar calendar and vary every year. The Dashami Tithi, or the tenth lunar day, begins on October 23rd at 05:44 PM and ends on October 24th at 03:14 PM. The most auspicious time for performing the puja rituals is during the Aparahna period, which is from 12:40 PM to 02:59 PM on October 24th. The Vijay Muhurat, which is considered to be very favorable for starting any new venture or activity, is from 01:26 PM to 02:12 PM on the same day.
When to celebrate Vijayadashami?
Dussehra is celebrated on the tenth day of the month of Ashvin, which is the seventh month in the Hindu calendar. The date of Dussehra varies each year, but it typically falls in the Gregorian calendar months of September and October.
In 2023, Dussehra will be celebrated on Tuesday, October 24. The Vijay Muhurat, the auspicious time to burn the effigies of Ravana, Kumbhakarna, and Meghanada, is between 1:58 PM and 2:43 PM.
Dussehra is a major festival in Hinduism, and it is celebrated with great enthusiasm across India. The festival commemorates the victory of good over evil, and it is a time for people to come together and celebrate.
Puja Rituals and Significance of Vijayadashami
The puja rituals and significance of Vijayadashami vary across different regions and communities in India. However, some common practices and traditions are followed by most Hindus on this day. Some of them are:
- Burning effigies of Ravana, Kumbhakarna and Meghnad: This is a popular custom in North India, where people enact the Ramayana story through plays and dramas called Ram Leela. On the final day, huge effigies of Ravana, his brother Kumbhakarna and his son Meghnad are set on fire with fireworks, signifying the destruction of evil by Lord Rama. People also chant “Jai Shri Ram” and celebrate with joy and enthusiasm.
- Worshipping Goddess Durga: This is a common practice in East India, especially in West Bengal, where people celebrate Durga Puja for nine days with grandeur and devotion. On the tenth day, they immerse the idols of Goddess Durga in water bodies, bidding farewell to her until next year. They also exchange greetings and sweets with each other and seek blessings from elders.
- Performing Ayudha Puja: This is a ritual observed in South India, where people worship their tools, weapons, vehicles and other instruments that help them in their daily lives. They also offer prayers to Goddess Saraswati, the goddess of learning and wisdom, and Lord Ganesha, the remover of obstacles. They also perform Kanya Puja, where they worship young girls as manifestations of Goddess Durga.
- Giving Shami leaves to elders: This is a tradition followed in some parts of North India and Maharashtra, where people honor their elders by giving them Shami leaves as a token of respect and gratitude. The Shami tree is considered to be sacred and auspicious as it was under this tree that Lord Rama met his brother Lakshmana after defeating Ravana. The leaves are also believed to bring good luck and prosperity.
Vijayadashami is a festival that reminds us of the importance of upholding dharma or righteousness in our lives. It also inspires us to overcome our weaknesses and challenges with courage and faith. It is a day to celebrate the victory of light over darkness, truth over falsehood and good over evil.
How Dussehra is celebrated in different states of India?
Vijayadashami is a festival that is celebrated in different parts of India for different reasons and in different ways. Here are some of the regional variations of the festival:
- In North India, Vijayadashami is celebrated as the day when Lord Rama defeated the demon king Ravana, who had abducted his wife Sita. People burn effigies of Ravana and his associates with fireworks and watch Ram Leela plays, which depict the story of Ramayana. People also worship the Shami tree, which is considered to be sacred and auspicious, and give its leaves to their elders as a token of respect and gratitude.
- In South India, Vijayadashami is celebrated as the day when Goddess Durga killed the buffalo demon Mahishasura, who had terrorized the gods and humans. People worship their tools, weapons, vehicles and other instruments that help them in their daily lives, and also offer prayers to Goddess Saraswati, the goddess of learning and wisdom, and Lord Ganesha, the remover of obstacles. People also perform Kanya Puja, where they worship young girls as manifestations of Goddess Durga.
- In East India, especially in West Bengal, Vijayadashami marks the end of Durga Puja, which is a grand celebration of the goddess for nine days. People immerse the idols of Goddess Durga in water bodies, bidding farewell to her until next year. They also exchange greetings and sweets with each other and seek blessings from elders. Some people also play with sindoor (vermilion) on this day.
- In West India, especially in Gujarat, Vijayadashami is celebrated with traditional dances such as Dandiya and Garba, where people dance with sticks or clap their hands to the rhythm of music. People also wear colorful and festive clothes and adorn themselves with jewelry. They also distribute sweets and gifts to their friends and relatives.
Vijayadashami is a festival that symbolizes the power of righteousness and justice over evil forces. It also inspires us to overcome our weaknesses and challenges with courage and faith. It is a day to celebrate the victory of light over darkness, truth over falsehood and good over evil.
In conclusion, Vijayadashami, or Dussehra, is a multifaceted Hindu festival that holds deep cultural and religious significance. It serves as a reminder of the eternal battle between good and evil and encourages individuals to uphold righteousness and courage in their lives. Celebrated with diverse rituals across India, it unites people in the common theme of triumphing over darkness and embracing the light of truth and goodness.
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