The festival’s name is derived from Sanskrit ‘Dasha’ (Ten) and ‘Hara’ (Defeat). This symbolizes the victory of good over evil and the resurgence of faith and hope. It is celebrated on the 10th day of the month of Ashvina (September- October), the seventh month of the Hindu calendar with the appearance of the full moon an event called Shukla Paksha (bright fortnight). Dussehra coincides with the Navratra (nine days) festival and the 10th day of the Durga puja festival. Ravana symbolizes ego and Ram symbolizes goodness (our real self which is Sat-Chit-Ananda). There is an ongoing fight between the good (Ram) and (Ravana) in every man at the physical, mental, and emotional levels. Good always wins over evil.

How we celebrate Dussehra

North India: The depiction of Lord Rama’s life in Ramlila begins 10 days before the Dussehra festival. On the day of Dussehra, huge effigies of Ravana, Meghnad, and Kumbakaran are lit in the Ramlila maidan.

South India: In the southern states, the Dussehra celebration begins 9 days before it. The nine holy days are dedicated to the worship of the three main deities of Hinduism. First three days goddess Lakshmi. Next three days goddess Saraswati called dualism of knowledge and art, and last three days to goddess Durga known as Shakti.

Eastern India: Celebrated as the victory of goddess Durga over a cruel and mighty satan named Mahisasura.  After nine days of battle, goddess killed Mahisasura on the 10th day which is celebrated as Dashami.

West India: In western India, the festival is related to various legends besides Lord Rama. On the day of Dussehra, the flour tree is worshipped and its leaves are gifted to near and dear ones with the sweets being considered a good omen. It is also believed that on this day, Pandavas of Mahabharata came out of exile. Thus Dussehra has multifaceted importance in various regions.


Literally translates to nine nights for which the festival is observed. During the nine days and nights, the form or incarnation of goddess Durga is worshiped. The festival honors and celebrates the victory of goddess Durga over Mahisasura. Each day is dedicated to one of the nine avatars of the goddess. Navratri is dedicated to the feminine nature of the divine. Durga Lakshmi and Saraswati are the three dimensions of the feminine. Representing three qualities of existence, tamas, rajas, and sattva.

Eastern India: In Bengal and Assam, the festival is known as Durga Puja. Commemorating Durga’s victory over the demon king with buffalo face Mahisasura, special images are made. On the 10th day, a jubilant procession is taken out and the idol is immersed in a river or lake. Each Navratri is powerful as per Vedic astrology and, anyone can perform special prayers to goddess Durga through Jyotish.

North India: Ramlila is the highlight of the festival with different episodes on the epic Ramayana are enacted on successive nights.

West India: Navratri is most looked forward to in is lighted in the evening and women dance and perform aarti. Garba dance and dandiya are popular in Gujarat. Devotees fast for nine days. Devotion to the worship of Maa Shakti for nine days.  Garba is performed by all, wearing traditional dresses.

South India: Religious celebrations to seek blessings of Maa Durga. The goddesses Durga, Lakshmi, and Saraswati are worshiped for three successive nights each. As a part of the celebration, Kolu is decorated. Kolu is a staircase of 9 steps representing nine nights and decorated with beautiful dolls and idols of gods and goddesses.

Punjab: People keep fast for the first 7 days. Ending the fast on Ashtami or Navami by worshipping little boys or girls known as Kanjakas. Jagratas are organized and people keep awake the whole night singing bhajans. 


RIGHT DIRECTION: Worship Goddess Durga in either northeast or east direction of the house.

CHANTINGS: Durga Suktamas (Beej Mantra) after deciding direction is required for warding off all negative energies in the house.

PLACE: Idol towards east after chanting of Durga Suktamas. This would enhance the devotion of the native towards the almighty.

RANGOLI: Decoration will bring positive energy. Dark colors are not to be used during the celebration.

GARLAND: Mango leaf garland and marigold flowers will bring good luck, happiness, and success to you and your home.

APTA: Gift Apta tree leaves. The legend goes that Kuber, the lord of wealth converted millions of Apta tree leaves into gold on Dussehra, and paid it as Guru Dakshina.

Following all these astrological tips bring happiness and prosperity to the family. Learn about astrology online where you can find the significance and observances of Navratri.

Dussehra day is also auspicious for purchasing electronic goods and vehicles. You can also start a new job or investment.

Dussehra is an extremely auspicious day.

Writer – Mala Chatterjee