jai Mata De
Durga Puja is the biggest annual festival in Bengal, Orissa and Bihar. It is celebrated likewise with much fervour in other parts of India, especially the Himalayan region, but is celebrated in various forms throughout the Hindu universe.
The day of Durga's victory is celebrated as Vijaya Dashmi, Dashain or Dussehra - these words literally mean "the Victorious Tenth" (day). In Kashmir she is worshipped as shaarika (the main temple is in Hari Parbat in Srinagar).
The actual period of the worship however may be on the preceding nine days (Navaratri) followed by the last day called Vijayadashami in North India or five days in Bengal (from the sixth to tenth day of the waxing-moon fortnight). Nine aspects of Durga known as Navadurga are meditated upon, one by one during the nine-day festival by devout Shakti worshippers.
In North India, the tenth day, signifying Rama's victory in his battle against the demon Ravana, is celebrated as Dussehra - gigantic straw effigies of Ravana are burnt in designated open spaces (e.g. Delhi's Ram Lila grounds), watched by thousands of families and little children.
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