Bijoya Dashami. It is time for Maa Durga to return home to Kailash. As we take the idols to immerse in the waters, we start to miss her already. Our eyes are teary. But Maa Durga promises she is here with us, every moment. And she will be back for Her children next year.
For Bengalis, Bijoya Dashami is a time for good food and good times. This is the time when all relatives are remembered and greeted, even if they have been out of touch. It is also the when people visit each other’s home and refresh the social ties.
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All over the country it is celebrated as Dusshera. This was the day another demon was killed – Ravana. This Devi Paksha period is truly auspicious.
In many parts of India, Ramlila is performed. Ramlila stand for the lila or play of Lord Ram. It is a local dramatized version of the Ramayana which is performed as part of the festival. Effigies of the demon Ravana are also burnt as part of the celebration. Actually the burning up of Ravana is the essence of Shri Ram wiping evil off the face of earth.
Apart from Ramayana, Dusshera also has a special place in Mahabharata. The Pandavs worshipped the Shami tree as an aspect of the Goddess during this period. They had hid their celestial weapons there. When the time of war came they took it out and expressed their gratitude to Mother Nature for keeping their weapons safely.
In Karnataka, Dusshera is celebrated with a special procession of Goddess Chamundeshwari. It is highly decorated and placed on the backs of the mighty elephants. Not only India, but many parts of South Asia celebrate this festival. It is a big festival in Nepal as well.
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