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Dussehra 2018 Date - Guide to Vijayadashami Puja and Dasara Festival in India in 2018

Vijayadashami is the last day of the 10-day Dasara festival and the day after the nine-day Navratri festival. The murtis of Goddess Durga are immersed on the day. Dussehra 2018 date is October 19. Vijayadashami 2018 is observed as Vidayarambham in Kerala and it marks the end of Mysore Dasara. Saraswati Puja comes to an end in many regions with Saraswati Balidan Puja on the day. Dasara Puja holidays are observed during the period starting from Mahalaya Pitrupa Paksha Amavasya (October 8).

Symbolism in Vijayadashami and Dussehra

Symbolically, Vijayadasami and Dussehra are the victory of Good over Evil – Goddess Durga annihilating Demon Mahisha and Lord Ram defeating Ravana.

Symbolically, these wars are the prolonged struggle against the ego and ignorance in each human being. After the struggle there is the day of new beginning – Vijayadasami.

Victory over 10 Bad Qualities

Dasara is a Sanskrit word which means removal of ten bad qualities within you. Dasa (10) + hara (to annhilate:
  1. Ahankara (Ego)
  2. Amaanavta (Cruelty)
  3. Anyaaya (Injustice)
  4. Kama vasana (Lust)
  5. Krodha (Anger)
  6. Lobha (Greed)
  7. Mada (Over Pride)
  8. Matsara (Jealousy)
  9. Moha (Attachment)
  10. Swartha (Selfishness)

We attain Vijaya or victory when these ten qualities are removed from life. The festival is therefore known as Vijayadashami signifying Vijaya (victory) over these ten qualities.

Bhagavan Sri Ram a Link Between Dasara and Durga Puja

It is also believed that Lord Ram performed ‘chandi puja’ to invoke the blessings of Goddess Durga for slaying Ravana. Pleased with Lord Ram, Goddess Durga or Goddess Chamundeswari divulged the secret to Lord Rama on how to slay Ravana. Thus there is a link between the Durga Puja and Lord Ram.

Dussehra Importance and Significance

Dasara is observed on the tenth day of the waxing phase of moon in Ashwin month.

The main rituals on the day is the burning of the effigy burning of Ravana, Kumbhakarna and Meghnand. Symbolically, Dasara is the victory of good over evil.

The most colorful and popular Dasara festival takes place in Mysore in Karnataka and in North India.

Mysore Dasara

In Karnataka, especially in Mysore, Dasara festivals are held for 10-days and the final day celebrates the victory of Goddess Chamundi or Goddess Chamudeswari over Demon Mahishasura. Here the 10-day festival is known as Dasara – not just the final day.

In North India, Dasara is believed to be the day when Lord Ram annihilated Ravana. On the final day of Dasara celebrations, huge effigies of Ravana, Kumbakarna, and Meghnath are burned.

Vijayadashami Importance and Significance

Vijayadashami marks the end of the Durga Puja.

Navratri festival which begins on the first of the bright half of Ashwin month (September-October) ends with Vijayadashami celebrations in most parts of India.

All tools and books that were untouched during the previous day (which is the Ayudha Puja day) are taken up after blessings from the Goddess on the day.

Many people start learning music, art and new courses on the Vijayadasami day.

Children are initiated into the world of letters on the day.

People also use the day to begin new businesses and make new investments.

Goddess Durga Murtis worshipped during Durga Puja are immersed in water on the day.

Important Rituals and Festivals on Dussehra

Popular Dussehra Festivals in India

Kota Dussehra in Rajasthan

  • Started in 1723 AD by Maharaj Durjanshal Singh Hada.
  • Runs for 25 days.
  • Massive effigies of Ravan, Meghnath and Kumbhakarna on Dasara day.
  • Highlights include traditional Rajasthani cultural performances, colorful costumes, games plays, spectacular displays of fireworks
  • Traditional food can be enjoyed a plethora of food stalls.
  • Moustache competition
  • Music and poetry competitions

Dasara Ram Lila in Delhi

The main highlight of the festival is the setting fire to the sky-high effigies of Ravana, Meghnath and Kumbhakarana on Dasara Day.
Enactment of Ram Leela musical.

Related
Story of Vijayadasami
Vijayadasami Quotes