The festival of Dussehra celebrates the Hindu god Rama's victory over the 10-headed demon king Ravana and the triumph of good over evil. According to the Hindu calendar, the day is commemorated on the tenth day of the month of Ashwin and marks the end of Navratri or nine nights. Each of the preceding nine days represents a powerful manifestation of Durga, the goddess of power.
Dussehra, also known as Vijayadashami, is one of the most important Hindu festivals and celebrated in various forms, across India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal (where it is known as Dashain). Many people of the Hindu faith observe Dussehra through special prayer meetings and food offerings to the gods at home or in temples throughout India. They also hold outdoor fairs and large parades with effigies of Ravana that are burnt on bonfires in the evening.
IBTimesUK presents a gallery of celebrations held during the nine-day Navratri festival, leading up to Dussehra.