Dussehra is also called Vijayadashami, which is a combination of two words ‘Vijaya means victory’ and ‘Dashami means tenth’. Hence, Dussehra is celebrated on the tenth day with great enthusiasm and fervour and people recognise the triumph of good over evil. It is also called Navaratri in many places and is celebrated worldwide wherever Hindus reside.
Though, every state in India has its own reason and unique style of celebrating Dussehra; but there is no difference in their spirit. In Maharashtra, people ritually cross the border of their community and wish everyone’s good health, wealth and prosperity irrespective of caste, class, creed or religion. In Mysore, it is celebrated as Nada-habba and a huge colourful procession is carried out on the streets on this day. In Tamil Nadu and Kerala, Vijayadashmi is considered very auspicious for commencing education, dance or music performances. Mother Saraswati is worshipped on this day when the formal education of small kids begins.
Mostly in western and northern India, Dussehra is celebrated in admiration of Lord Rama. Various forms of drama, dance, music and plays based on the epic Ramayana are performed in the open fields where a temporary stage is built and decorated with flowers, lights, clothes and other materials. Stage artists enact Rama, Lakshmana, Sita, Hanumana, Ravana and other notable characters of Ramayana. The performance lasts for almost 10 days and on the day of Dussehra (10th day) when Rama defeats Ravana, large effigies or dummies of Ravana, Kumbhakarana and Meghnath are burnt in the same field where the performance is organised. Dussehra is also celebrated in schools with complete fervour and zeal. Ramayana stories are enacted by children and fairs are held at school which are open for both children and their parents. Hence, Dussehra is one of the much awaited festivals across India