The eagerly anticipated festival of Dussehra, also known as Vijayadashami, Dasara2023, or Dashain, is right around the corner. It’s a day that symbolizes the victory of good over evil. In this article, we’ll explore the date of Dussehra, its historical significance, the auspicious puja timings, and the various ways it’s celebrated.
When is Dussehra 2023? Vijayadashami Puja Timing:
Dussehra or Vijayadashami falls on October 24th this year. The Vijaya Muhurat, the auspicious time for performing puja, begins at 1:58 pm and ends at 2:43 pm, as per the Drik Panchang. The afternoon puja time is from 1:13 pm to 3:28 pm. The Dashami Tithi starts on October 23 at 5:44 pm and concludes on October 24 at 3:14 pm. During this time, the Shravana Nakshatra prevails from October 22 at 6:44 pm to October 23 at 5:14 pm.
Dussehra 2023: History and Significance of Vijayadashami:
Dussehra is celebrated on the Shukla Paksha Dashmi during the Ashwin month of the Hindu lunar calendar, typically a day after Maha Navami and at the end of Shardiya Navratri. It signifies the victory of good over evil. According to Hindu mythology, Lord Rama defeated the demon king Ravana on this day. Another legend narrates the epic battle where Maa Durga triumphed over the demon Mahishasura after nine days of fierce combat.
Dussehra also marks the commencement of Diwali celebrations, occurring twenty days before the Festival of Lights. It’s associated with the return of Lord Rama, Maa Sita, and Lord Lakshman. The festival teaches the profound lesson of goodness conquering evil and light dispelling darkness. On this day, people offer prayers for prosperity and well-being. In some regions, the worship of the Shami tree holds great significance as it is believed that Arjun concealed his weapons within the Shami tree during his exile.
Dussehra 2023: Celebrations of Vijayadashami:
In North India and various other regions, Dussehra is celebrated by burning effigies of Ravana, his brother Kumbhkaran, and the valiant warrior Meghnad. Ramlila, a dramatic reenactment of Lord Rama’s story, is performed throughout the nine days of Navratri, culminating in the symbolic killing of Ravana on the tenth day. Dussehra is also a time for individuals to rid themselves of sins and negative qualities, with the ten heads of Ravana representing various vices.
Is Dussehra 2023 a Public Holiday?
Indeed, Dussehra is a public holiday in India. On this day, the general population enjoys a day off, and it’s common for schools and most businesses to remain closed.
Many individuals of the Hindu faith mark Dussehra by participating in special prayer gatherings and offering food to the gods, either at home or in temples across India. The day is also celebrated with outdoor fairs known as “melas” and grand parades featuring effigies of Ravana, a mythical king of ancient Sri Lanka. These effigies are set ablaze in the evening, symbolizing the victory of good over evil. Dussehra serves as the culmination of the Navaratri festival.
Various regions in India host local celebrations that can extend for up to ten days. Notable local customs include:
- Ramlila Performances: In northern India, communities engage in Ramlila, a shortened version of the epic Ramayana, during the Navratri period.
- Mysore Dasara: The town of Mysore in the state of Karnataka observes a grand festival and procession, featuring the goddess Chamundeshwari seated on an elephant-mounted throne.
- Blessing of Tools: In Karnataka, people partake in the blessing of household and work-related tools such as books, computers, cooking utensils, and vehicles.
- Culinary Delights: In Bengal, special foods like “luchi” (deep-fried flatbread) and “alur dom” (deep-fried spiced potato snacks) are prepared.
Additionally, many Hindus consider it auspicious to commence new ventures, projects, or journeys on Dussehra. They might also exchange gifts of leaves from the Shami tree (Prosopis spicigera) as a symbol of the story of the Pandavas brothers’ exile in the Mahabharata tales.
Public Life on Dussehra
On Dussehra 2023, government offices, post offices, and banks are typically closed throughout India. Stores and other businesses may also close or operate with reduced hours. Those intending to use public transport on the day should verify schedules with local transport authorities.
what to do on dussehra 2023?
Dussehra 2023, a significant Hindu festival, offers various ways to celebrate and mark this auspicious day. Here are some traditional and customary activities associated with Dussehra:
1. Visit Temples: Many people begin the day by visiting temples dedicated to Lord Rama, Lord Shiva, or other deities. They offer prayers, light lamps, and seek blessings.
2. Attend Ramlila Performances: In many parts of India, especially in northern regions, Ramlila performances are organized. These are dramatic reenactments of episodes from the Ramayana, particularly the part where Lord Rama defeats Ravana. Watching Ramlila is a popular way to celebrate Dussehra.
3. Witness Effigy Burning: A significant highlight of Dussehra is the symbolic burning of effigies of Ravana, his brother Kumbhkaran, and his son Meghnad. This act represents the victory of good over evil. People gather at open grounds to witness the effigy burning, often accompanied by fireworks.
4. Partake in Cultural Events: Many local fairs and cultural events are organized during Dussehra. These events often feature dance, music, and other forms of entertainment.
5. Exchange Gifts: It’s customary for people to exchange gifts and sweets with family and friends on Dussehra. This is a way to share happiness and strengthen relationships.
6. Perform Puja at Home: Families often conduct special pujas (prayer rituals) at home. This includes lighting oil lamps and offering prayers to the deities. Many also prepare special dishes as offerings.
7. Embrace Charity: Dussehra is also a time for acts of charity. Many individuals donate to the less fortunate or offer food and clothing to those in need.
8. Commemorate the Divine Weapon: In some regions, people honor the Shami tree, which is believed to have been used by Arjun to conceal his weapons during his exile. Worship of the Shami tree is a customary practice during Dussehra.
9. Reflect on Moral Lessons: Dussehra is not just about festivities; it’s also an opportunity for people to reflect on the moral lessons of the Ramayana and the triumph of virtue over vice.
10. Start New Ventures: Many Hindus consider Dussehra an auspicious day to commence new ventures, start new projects, or embark on journeys. It’s believed to bring good fortune and success.
11. Share the Legend: Dussehra is an ideal occasion to share the stories and legends of the Ramayana with children, emphasizing the values of righteousness and truth.
Meaning of victory of good over evil?
“victory of good over evil” means that good and right things winning out over bad and wrong things. It’s like saying when people do the right thing and are kind, it’s better than when people do harmful or wrong things. Dussehra celebrates this idea by telling the story of a hero, Lord Rama, defeating a bad guy, Ravana, which shows that being good and honest is a better way to live.