The Dussehra is an important Hindu festival. The significance of Dussehra festival lies in its religious value. It teaches us that good triumph over evil. It is celebrated all over the country in honour of Rama’s victory over Ravana. It generally comes off in the month of October.
The Dussehra festival is celebrated in different ways in different parts of the country. In the Punjab, celebrations continue for about ten days. Learned pundits recites the stories from the Ramayana. People listen to it with great reverence. Almost in every town, Ram Lila is staged for several nights. Thousands of people go to enjoy it.
The festival also depicts the immortal love, respect that Rama and Sita had for each other. Lord Rama is an ideal husband and Goddess Sita is an ideal wife. The marriage of Rama with Sita is celebrated with great pomp and show. The marriage procession passes through the main streets of the city. On that day, there is a great stir and excitement in the whole town. The balconies and roof-tops are crowded with men and women. Eager crowds of spectators’ line the streets to see the sight. The entire route is full of people. It becomes very difficult to squeeze through the main bazaar.
On the last day, a grand fair is held in an open ground outside the city. Big statues of Ravana, Kumbhkarna and Meghnad are set up there. Men, women and children in their gala dresses begin to assemble there two or three hours before sun-set. The whole ground hums with life. Children enjoy fun and amusement. People stand in an open circle round the effigies.
Towards sunset, fireworks are let off. Then, Rama and Lakshmana come in a chariot. Rama shoots arrows on the statues of Ravana. People set fire on Ravana’s effigy. As these statues catch fire, crackers and shells explode with a deafening sound. Within a few minutes, the statues are reduced to ashes. After this, people return home, but their heart remains filled with courage. The heroic character of Lord Rama inspires them to stand and fight against the evils.