One of the most exciting Hindu festivals, Dussehra, celebrates the triumph of Lord Rama over the powerful ruler of Lanka, Ravana. The story associated with Dussehra is that Lord Rama together with his brother Laxman and a troupe of monkeys led by his devotee Hanuman headed towards Lanka, to rescue his wife Sita from the shackles of Ravana. Along with his army, Lord Rama got into a war with Ravana which continued for nine days. On the tenth day, he victoriously defeated the ten-headed evil king, Ravana. This day came to be known as Vijaydashmi or Dussehra (meaning tenth day).
The festival is celebrated to acknowledge the victory of good over evil. The Dussehra celebrations commence from the first day of Navratri and last till the tenth day. A special event called “Ramlila”, depicting various scenes from the great Hindu epic, Ramayana, is organised in different parts of India. The event continues for the nine days of Navratri and finally on the tenth day (Dussehra), performers disguised as Rama and Laxman perform the final moments of the battle and shoot flaming arrows at the giant effigies of Ravana, his brother Kumbhakarna and son Meghnad, placed in open grounds (where huge crowds gather to witness this act of burning the evil). This is followed by extravagant fireworks.
How to celebrate Dussehra at home?
Dussehra being the most popular Hindu festival is celebrated with great passion in all parts of the country. many people through out India, celebrate this at home with their families. Here are some useful tips which will help you to celebrate Dussehra at home:
- Recite the stories of the mythical king Rama to your child.
- Dress up your child as different characters from the Ramayana and prepare them to perform the famous scenes from the great epic.
- Tell your child that Dussehra is celebrated to honour the win of the good over the evil.
- Encourage your child to use her creative skills to make Dussehra crafts like a bow and arrow.
- Take your child to the melas and have them watch the “Ramlila”.
- Buy swords, dhanusha, gadda, masks of various characters etc. for your child
- Play recitations and hymns highlighting the life story of Lord Rama.
- Bring small effigies of Ravana from the markets (if available) and burn them in a nearby ground.
So, enjoy the day with your child at home and take every opportunity to teach them that truth always wins.