Friday, August 31, 2007


Dussehra or Dassera is a popular festival celebrated by Hindus all over India, albeit with different names. It is also known as Vijayadashmi ('Vijay' meaning 'victory' and 'Dashmi meaning 'tenth day) as it is believed that it was on this day that Lord Rama killed the demon-king, Ravana and won over Lanka, his kingdom. In other words, it signifies the triumph of good over evil. The legendary triumph is reenacted to the day. Huge effigies of Ravana, his giant brother Kumbhkarna and son Meghnad are placed in vast open grounds. Fireworks and crackers are placed inside these and actor dressed as Rama, his wife Sita and brother Lakshmana enact the final moments of the battle. The character playing Rama then shoots an arrow with a flaming tip at the effigies from a safe distance and the crowd bursts up in cheer as the crackers catch fire. The enthusiasm and the cheers sometimes even drown the deafening blast. Merriment ensues as people indulge themselves in fairs and games, dance and music.

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