Dushera

Location :- In All Over India
Time of Celebration :- October/November.

Dussehra is one of the most popular festivals celebrated by the Hindus in India. Dussehra is celebrate to mark the victory of good over evil and victory of gods over demons. According to Hindu mythology, Lord Ram killed Ravana on the tenth day of their battle and it came to be known as Vijayadashmi or the Victory on the Tenth Day. Dussehra is celebrated on the tenth day of the bright half of Aswin according to Hindu calendar and falls between October and November.
The preparations for Dussehra are carried out days in advance. Many acting troupes and drama schools enact Ram Lila or the life story of Lord Ram for ten days. On the tenth day, a big procession is taken to the Ram Lila grounds where the effigies of Ravana, his brother Meghnad and his son Kumbhakaran are burnt with crackers inside them. It is festival of fun and frolic when every body comes out of their houses to witness the burning of the effigies.

Kullu, a small hill town in Himachal Pradesh is very famous for its unique celebration of Dussehra. Since the times of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, Dussehra is celebrated here three days after it is celebrated in the rest of India. On the first day, the idol of Raghunathji is mounted on a magnificent rath or chariot and carried from its permanent abode in the Dholpur Maidan to another part of the ground. The descendants of Ranjit Singh encircle the idol and pray before the chariot is carried out.
On the second day, a Devta Durbar or the Council of Gods presided by Raghunathji is held. On the last day, the chariot of Raghunathji is brought to the banks of the river Beas amidst avid ostentation. A heap of wood and grass is set on fire, which is symbolic of the burning of Lanka. Five animals, namely, crab, cock, fish, buffalo and a male goat are sacrificed. This is followed by merry making by the people, as they drink Lugri, a traditional Kullu drink.

Besides north India, Dussehra is celebrated with equal vigor and enthusiasm in other parts of the country. In south Indian states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, families decorate dolls or Bommai Kolu and prepare a rangoli or an elaborate floor decoration with lamps and flowers. Women traditionally exchange coconuts, clothes and sweets as gifts. Vijayadashmi is also considered an auspicious occasion for children to begin their classical dance and music education and to pay homage to their teachers. In Tamil Nadu, Dussehra is celebrated for 9 days. The first three days of the festival are dedicated to the worship of Lakshmi, Goddess of Wealth and Prosperity, the next three days to Saraswati, Goddess of Learning and Arts and the last three days to Shakti, Goddess of Power and Might.