The Tenth Day of Navratri
After the joyous nine days of Navratri, comes the tenth day which is celebrated as Dussehra also popularly known as Vijayadashmi (‘Vijay’ means ‘victory’ and ‘Dashmi means ‘tenth day)It is a popular Hindu festival celebrated all over India in various flavours. It is believed that on this day Lord Rama killed the demon King Ravana and rescued his abducted wife Sita. The day symbolizes the victory of good over evil. Dussehra is observed differently in different parts of the country depending on the legend believed in each region.Dussehra commemorates the victory of good over evil. It is the day when Lord Rama killed the ten headed demon king Ravana. People throughout India celebrate the auspicious occasion of Dussehra in their own way.
Dussehra Puja is performed differently in different parts of India but the purpose is to seek the blessings of the deity and ensure good health, wealth and prosperity throughout the year. Both men and women can perform Dussehra puja. Usually a priest is given the charge of the puja to perform the ritual correctly. Jaggery, rice, banana and radish are usually offered as Prasad. After the puja people head for celebration. In North, people go to the nearest Ramlila Maidan followed by burning of effigies of Ravana, his brother Kumbhkarna and son Meghnath on Ramlila. In South people would participate in Saraswati Puja celebrations. In West Bengal people take part in ‘Visarjan’ the ritual of immersing the idol of Goddess Durga in water.
All the festival and celebrations in India marks some delightful cuisines specially prepared for the day. As Dussehra is also a festive occasion, special cuisine is also prepared on the day. People observe fast and eat only one meal a day at sunset. It is also mandatory to eat a vegetarian meal on that day which even forbids onion and garlic. Special vegetables and ingredients are also used which vary from places to places and families to families. Dairy products, fruits, and nuts form the staple diet on this occasion. Some of the special delicacies that are prepared and relished on the occasion of Dussehra are Sabudana Khichidi and Kuttu Ki Puri.
All in all, with Dusshera comes the end of evil and begins an aura of goodness.
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