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Dussehra – Vijayadashami

Vijayadashami is a festival celebrated in various forms across India, Bangladesh and Nepal. It is also called Dasara, Dashahara, Navaratri and Durgotsav (Marathi: विजयादशमी, Bengali: বিজয়াদশমী, Oriya :ବିଜୟାଦଶମୀ, Kannada: ವಿಜಯದಶಮಿ, Malayalam: വിജയദശമി, Nepali :विजया दशमी, Tamil: விஜயதசமி, Telugu: విజయదశమి). It is also known as Dasara (also written Dussehra) Bengali: দশেরা, Kannada: ದಸರ, Malayalam: ദസറ, konkani: दसरो , Marathi: दसरा, Oriya:ଦଶହରା, Telugu: దసరా)(Punjabi: ਦਸੇਰਾ) and Dashain in Nepali.

Dussehra is celebrated on the tenth day of the Hindu autumn lunar month of Ashvin,  or Ashwayuja which falls in September or October of the Western calendar, from the Shukla Paksha Pratipada, or the day after the new moon which falls in Bhadrapada, to the Dashami, or the tenth day of Ashvin. It is the culmination of the 10-day annual Navaratri (Sanskrit: नवरात्रि, ‘nine nights’) festival. It is the largest festival in Nepal, and celebrated by Hindu and non-Hindu Nepalis.

In India, the harvest season begins at this time and so the Mother Goddess  is invoked to start the new harvest season and reactivate the vigor and  fertility of the soil. This is done through religious performances and rituals which are thought to invoke cosmic forces that rejuvenate the soil. In Bangladesh  it is a five day long festival and is celebrated in mandaps
(congregation).The largest festival is held at Dhakeshwari temple and Ramkrishna missionary in Dhaka. On the day of Dasha-Hara, clay statues of the Goddess Durga are submerged in rivers. The pooja is performed with turmeric and other pooja items, which are added to the river in order to help the water yield better crops.

Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, the founder of the Hindawi (Hindu) Swarajya – Maratha Empire worshipped Lord Shiva  and the goddess Durga in her Bhawani form before engaging in military expeditions. Dasha-Hara is the festival of Victory of Good over Evil.

Buses, trucks and machines in factories are decorated. Dasha-Hara is also Vishwakarma Divas – the National Labor Day of India. Veda Vyasa is considered the foremost guru  and Vijayadashami is also celebrated as Vyasa puja. Shastra pooja, or
the worship of the weapon Shastra/Astra used by Goddess Durga, are worshipped on this day.



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