Ravana, the ten-headed demon, pahudson via Flickr
When is Dussehra?
On this day, many of your colleagues in India will celebrate the culmination of the ten day Dussehra festival.
It may be known in some regions as Vijayadashami and in parts of southern India, it is known as Dasara. Other regional spellings include Dashera and Dussera.
As this is a ten day festival based on a lunar date with many important days and also because it has many different names in the various regions on India, it is difficult to determine when each region has a holiday. On this site, we show the date of the tenth day and you can assume that most regions will observe this a public holiday.
In India, the festival of Dussehra symbolizes the triumph of good over evil.
The festival traditionally represents the legend of Rama and Ravana.
Ravana, the demon king, abducted the beloved Princess of India, Sita.
The Lord Rama rescued the Princess, proving victorious over the powerful and evil King Ravana.
The Dussehra festival is ten days long, culminating on the tenth day, the Dussehra holiday.
On the day of Dussehra, large statues of Ravana are constructed and brought into open fields.
These effigies are burned and with them the evil they represent, so that the people are allowed to follow the path of virtue and goodness throughout the year.
On the ninth day of Dussehra, Ayudha Puja is celebrated in several regions of India. Celebrations may involve many common and seemingly mundane tooo and implements used in everyday life, such as computers, books, cars, or kitchen tools.
The aim is to see the divine in everything, notably those things used in one's livelihood. It is believed that this day is also a blessed one for any new venture to start on.
In 2016, Ayudha Puja is a holiday in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu.
In the southern India states, this festival is called Navaratri ('nine nights') and revolves around the worship of the goddesses Lakshmi and Sarasvati. Lakshmi is associated with good luck and wealth, and Sarasvati is linked with wisdom and fertility.
The festival is a time for visiting friends and relatives, and houses are decorated with colourful displays of toys and images of gods. In Gujarat there are nine days of music and dancing..