It is Vijaya Dasami for some and Dussehra for others in India. Name of this year as per Hindu calendar incidentally is "Vijaya" that repeats after 60 years as we have 60 names for years- like seven week days.
Vijaya Dasami is the tenth day of Month Ashwiyuja in Shukla Paksha that is first fortnight of the month consisting of 30 days (Thithis). This is the victorious day of Ma Durga over the demon Mahishasura as some believe and It is the victorious day of Rama over Ravana as some. In Andhra Pradesh Telugu people take it as the day Arjun victoriously fought with Kauravas. Viajya is one of the names of Arjun in Mahabharata.
It is Dussehra for some parts of India which in fact is Dasa Hara in Sanskrit means removal of ten which can be ten heads of Ravana or ten vices that are lust, anger, attachement, greed, pride, jealousy, selfishness, injustice, cruelty and ego.
Dussehra comes on the tenth day but all the nine days before it are also very important to Hindus. They are called Navarthris. Many observe one time fasting during the day time these days. In many parts of India non vegetarian food is prohibited on all these nine days. In Telangana region Bathukamma festival is observed during these days.
Every day is special in all the nine days of Navarathri or Navarathras. On Asthami the 8th day, Ayudha (weapons/tools) Pooja and Vahana (Vehicle) Puja are performed. The deities of Durga and also Vishnu are seen in different avatars these nine days in the temples.
After these nine days, tenth day is a day for celebration which will be observed as a holiday for offices. But ten days are observed as holidays for the educational institutions. They are called Dasara Holidays.
It is customary to invite son in law for the first Dussehra. It is an opportunity to have company of the married daughter again and to give gifts to the newlywed couple.
Slowly the reasons for the festival are going in to oblivion. But it is still followed to interact with near and dear and enjoy in their company which is the real purpose of any festival.
AW wishes “A Happy Dussehra” to all of its readers