[ duhs-er-uh ]
/ ˈdʌs ər ə /
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a Hindu festival symbolizing the triumph of good over evil, celebrated for ten days in October.
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Also Da·sa·ha·ra [duhs-uh-huhr-uh]. /ˌdʌs əˈhʌr ə/.
Also called Durga Puja.

Origin of Dasehra

From the Sanskrit word daśaharā literally, (goddess) who takes away the ten major sins
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021


What is Dasehra?

Dasehra (or Dasahara or Dussehra) is a Hindu holiday marking the end of the festival known as Navaratri.

Dasehra is also sometimes called Vijayadashami.

Dasehra is a celebration of the triumph of good over evil. It is observed on the day after the ninth day of Navaratri and is sometimes considered part of the Navaratri festival (as its 10th day). The name Dasehra is also sometimes used to refer to this entire 10-day period.

Observance of Navaratri varies by region. In some regions, it is dedicated to all female deities. In some places, it specifically commemorates the slaying of a demon by the goddess Durga, while in others it celebrates Rama’s victory over Ravana—two examples of the triumph of good over evil celebrated on Dasehra.

When Navaratri (or a portion of the festival) is primarily observed in honor of Durga, it is also called Durga Puja (which means “Durga worship”). Because it overlaps with Navaratri, the names are sometimes used synonymously.

This is why you’ll sometimes see the terms Navaratri, Dasehra, and Durga Puja used interchangeably, even though each one can mean something more specific.

When is Dasehra?

In 2021, Dasehra takes place on October 15 (or on October 15–16). In 2022, Dasehra will be observed on October 5 (or October 5–6).

Dasehra occurs during the Hindu calendar month of Ashvin, typically after the ninth day of the Navaratri festival. Because the Hindu calendar is a lunisolar calendar, the corresponding date changes from year to year.

More information and context on Dasehra

Navaratri is Sanskrit for “nine nights.” The word Dasehra can refer to the day that follows the ninth day of Navaratri (whether or not it’s considered part of the festival), or it can be used as a name for the entire 10-day festival period. Dasehra comes from the Sanskrit word daśaharā, which literally means “(goddess) who takes away the ten major sins.”

Like Navaratri, Dasehra is in many places particularly associated with the goddess Durga—or with all female deities. In other places, it is associated with Rama.

Dasehra festivities often include costumed performances and the burning of effigies.

What are some terms that often get used in discussing Dasehra?

How is Dasehra discussed in real life?

Dasehra is a major celebration among Hindus in India. It is closely associated with—and sometimes used as another name for—the Navaratri festival. It is commonly spelled Dussehra.


Try using Dasehra!

True or False? 

Dasehra celebrates the triumph of evil over good.

How to use Dasehra in a sentence

  • It is here that the Gangor and Dasehra Solemnities are celebrated.

    Beast and Man in India|John Lockwood Kipling