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Dussehra 2023: History, Significance & Celebration

Known as one of the most prominent festivals of the Hindu community, Dussehra marks the victory of Lord Rama over the demonic ruler, Ravana who kidnapped Rama’s wife, Sita. Also called Vijayadashami, this day is celebrated after the conclusion of the nine-day-long festival of Navratri.

Dussehra is a Sanskrit word which translates to ‘ten (dasha) defeat (hara)’ in English as it is known that demon King Ravana had 10 heads. According to the Hindu calendar, this day falls on the 10th day of the month of Ashvina which overlaps with September-October in Gregorian calendar. In 2023, Dussehra will be observed on 24th October (Tuesday).

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Dussehra – History and Significance

Dussehra 2022 | History and Significance

Dussehra 2023 | History and Significance

According to legends, Ravana abducted the wife of Lord Rama which led to a deadly war between them. Demonic King Ravana was given a boon of being indestructible by Lord Brahma. After several events, Rama managed to kill Ravana by shooting an arrow through his belly-button. Therefore, the 10th day of Ashvina month of the Hindu calendar is celebrated as Dussehra, every year.

There’s one more legend behind this festival. According to Mahabharat, this day commemorates the victory of Arjuna who single-handedly defeated the entire Kaurava Army. Arjuna is also known as Vijaya and hence, the day he destroyed the army is referred to as the ‘Vijaya Dashami’.

Many people throughout the nation celebrate this day as an occasion to honour the victory of good over evil. Devotees in the Eastern parts of India observe this day as the end of Durga Puja which begins with the festival of Navratri.

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Dussehra Celebrations across India

Dussehra 2022 | Celebrations across India

Dussehra 2023 | Celebrations across India

On this day, devotees wear new clothes and organize public festivities for commemorating the victory of good over evil in the northern parts of India. Celebrated as the conclusion of the nine-day-long fast of Navratri, Dussehra is observed by organizing a theatrical enactment of Rama’s life story which is called Ram Lila. Followed by which the effigies of Ravana, his son Meghanada and brother Kumbhakaran are set on fire in open fields throughout the nation.

People in the Eastern region of India including West Bengal, Bihar and Odisha observe this day as the end of Durga Puja which is celebrated by wearing a red saree and putting on vermilion. It is observed as an emotional occasion and Bengalis sing folk songs while immersing the idols of Goddess Durga in water bodies.

Best Places to Observe Dussehra 2023 Celebrations in India

Other Holidays in October 2023

Event / Festival Day / Date Holiday Type
Gandhi Jayanti Mon 02-Oct-2023 Gazetted Holiday
Valmiki Jayanti Sat 28-Oct-2023 Restricted Holiday

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Year-Wise Dussehra Observances

YEAR DAY DATE Event/Festival
2015 Thur 22-Oct Dussehra
2016 Tue 11-Oct Dussehra
2017 Sat 30-Sep Dussehra
2018 Fri 19-Oct Dussehra
2019 Tue 8-Oct Dussehra
2020 Sun 25-Oct Dussehra
2021 Friday 15-Oct Dussehra
2022 Tue 4-Oct Dussehra
2023 Tue 24-Oct Dussehra
2024 Sat 12-Oct Dussehra
2025 Thur 2-Oct Dussehra
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