September or October, Dussehra is always a festival of holidays for kids. On 1st January, every year, every kid peeps into the new calendar to find out when Dussehra is. We all know that Dussehra is the festival celebrated on the death of Ravan. Also, Dussehra is observed as the triumph of Mother Durga over the tyranny of Mahishur.
10 Unknown Details About Dussehra
Below are the ten little things about Dussehra that many don’t know. Let us look into them.
1. Etymology of Dussehra
Dassera is also known as Vijaya Dashami, Dussehra, and Nava-Ratri. The word Dussehra has its origin in Sanskrit. Vijaya Dashami, Dussehra, and Nava-Ratri. Sha is the name of Dashanan Ravan cut short while Hara is defeated. Altogether Dussehra is the “Defeat of Ravan.”
Also, Dasha is ten in Sanskrit, and Ahaha is a day. So, Dasha + Ahaha = Dasharahaha = Dasharaha is a ten-day festival. And Nava-Ratri is nothing but a festival celebrated for nine nights. Whereas Vijaya means Victory, and Dashami is the tenth day of the lunar calendar of Hindus.
2. Where Is It Celebrated?
Dussehra is celebrated worldwide these days, but conventionally it is practiced in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bangladesh.
3. Exhibition of Dolls – Bommala Koluvu
The demon king Mahishasur coming into the pride of the boons given by Bharma, the creator, crushed the world with his tyranny. To end his atrocities, all deaths amalgamated their powers into supreme power. The powerless devatas stood still to watch the war. In this memory, various states of India set up an exhibition of dolls during the ten-day festival.
4. Significance of Shami Puja and Ayudha Puja
It is believed that Pandavas, the five exiled princes of Hasthinapur, hid their weapons on the Shami tree before entering the Masthya Kingdom of Virat to complete their Agnyatawas. After a year of Agnyatawas, Pandavas recovered their weapons on this day. Since then, the Shami tree and weapons have been worshipped on this day.
Kausta, the son of Brahmin named Devdutta, after learning Vedas from his guru Vartantu, expressed his desire o give him his fees (guru Dakshina) for teaching him. When compelled by Kausta, Vartantu asked for 140 million gold coins.
Poor Kausta felt it be a test for his devotion to the guru and approached King Raghu of Ayodhya. Raghu was left with no money as he was performing Vishwajit Yagna. He asked Kubera, the wealth god, for the sum, and Kubera rained gold coins over Shanu and Aapati tree. Kausta paid guru Dakshina with this money, and the leftover gold was distributed among the people of Ayodhya. In remembrance of this, we pluck leaves of Aapati and give them to friends and family like gold. In some places, Shami leaves are also distributed.
6. Emperor Ashoka Opts for Buddhism
History says that Mauryan Emperor, Ashoka, seeing the aftermath of the battle of Kalinga converted to Buddhism that preached Ahimsa to him on this auspicious day.
7. The Flower Festival – Bathukamma
It is said that Goddess Durga, after the battle fell asleep due to fatigue ‘Aswayuja Padyami’. The devotees entreated her to say Bathukamma, which means “come back to life, mother” in Telugu, and she woke up on the Dasami, which is celebrated as Dussehra. In this memory, a 9-day flower festival is celebrated in Telangana.
8. Ramlila in North
These 10 days of festival dramas are performed based on Ramayana, known as Ramlila. In the evening, the effigies of Ravan, his brother Khumbhkarn and his son Meghnath are burnt.
9. Khetri – Punjabi’s Custom
Punjabis sow pulses, cereals, and other seeds in a pot on the first day of Navaratri. They water it for nine days at the end of which the seeds sprout. On the tenth day, the shoots are submerged in water after prayers, about 3 – 5 inches in length. They believe that this custom gives a fruitful harvest. This tradition called “Khetri” signifies prosperity and abundance.
10. Indian Roller
Indian Roller, or Neelakanti (Hindi) or Pala Pitta (Telugu), is considered sacred and is worshiped on this day. It is believed that watching this bird on this day restrains all sins.