Dussehra is the festival of Kshattriyas. But all Hindus observe this festival with great joy.
Dussehra comes in the Hindi month of Kuwar. It is said that in olden days, the kings and rulers marched out of their kingdoms to conquer new areas on this very day after the rainy season. It is also said that the Goddess Durga killed the demon on this day. Hence this festival is observed on this day in her honour. It is also said that Ram killed Ravana on this day. The festival has different meanings for the different people.
People think that any work begun on this day will bring good luck. The Kshattriyas take out their arms. They clean and worship them on this day. In the evening, people go to visit friends and relations at their houses. Betels are freely offered to visitors on this day
The girls also observe this festival in a special way. They sow barley seeds in open pots full of earth or in some corner of the courtyard of the house few days before this festival. The seeds grow into plants about six inches high by this day. The sisters pick them up and put few of them over the ears of their brothers and apply tilak on the forehead of their brothers. In return, they get small gifts from their brothers.
The shop-keepers decorate their strops. The sweet sellers' shops are full of new sweets on this day. They have good sale on this day. The toy sellers also have good business. The poorest man also buys some sweets and toys for his children. The merchants and traders worship their Bahis and open fresh account on this day.
The most important and interesting thing about this festival is Ram Lila. At many places Ram Lila is staged for a number of days. The life story of Ram is shown from the beginning to the end. There are dramatic companies that perform Ram Lila for some payments. Every day in the evening Jhankis are taken out. Death of Ravana is staged on this day. They make a huge Ravana of paper on a bamboo frame. This Ravana fights with Ram and Laxman. He is killed and burnt. To see this scene, people of the town come in large numbers and there is a great joy everywhere.
The children are very happy. They see the Ram Lila with great interest for ten days. The story of Ram teaches us many good things.