The festival of Dussehra, which marks the triumph of victory of good over the evil, is celebrated on the tenth day of the bright half (waxing moon) of the Hindu month of Aswiyuja. The festivities of Dussehra also mark the commencement of the winter season after a long, scorching summer. The occasion commemorates the victory of Rama over Ravana as well as the triumph of Goddess Durga over demon Mahishasura. Fairs, known as Ramlila, are organized on many parts of the occasion. It is the culmination of the nine day celebrations of Navratri, which precedes Dussehra.Dussehra is a very auspicious day to start a new venture, learn art forms (such as music and dance) or pursue education.
This is largely because in many parts of India, particularly in southern states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala, Vidyarambam (beginning of study) is performed on Vijayadashmi (Dusshera). In addition to this, a number of rituals are performed on this day, such as, the exchange of shami leaves and apati leaves. Apart from this, Goddess Durga idols are immersed into the nearby river or lake by the Bengalis, who celebrate Dussehra for the Goddess victory over demon Mahishasura.Ramlila is the main attraction of Dussehra in many parts of India, the most prominent being Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Mysore and Orissa. Though effigies of Ravana, his son Meghnath and brother Kumbhkarna are not burnt in the southern states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala, the festival is celebrated with equal zeal there. Saraswati Puja is the main ritual of Vijayadashmi (Dussehra) in the southern states of India. During the entire day of Dusshera, the air is filled with festivity and people are in the mood to enjoy the festival along with their family, friends and relatives.