The name Dussehra is derived from Sanskrit Dasha-hara .This literally means remover of ten referring to Lord Rama’s victory over the ten-headed demon king Ravana.
The day also marks the victory of Goddess Durga over the demons Mahishasur. The name Vijayadashami is also derived from the Sanskrit words “Vijaya-dashmi” literally meaning the victory on the dashmi (Dashmi being the tenth lunar day of the Hindu calendar month).
Dussehra is a Hindu festival that celebrates the victory of good over evil. It is a gazetted holiday in India, which is marked on the 10th day of the bright half (Shukla Paksha) of the month of Ashvin (Ashwayuja), according to the Hindu calendar. This day falls in the month of September or October.
The first nine days are celebrated as Maha Navratri or Sharada Navratri (the most important Navratri) and culminates on the tenth day as Dussehra.
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 (melas) and large parades with effigies of Ravana (a mythical king of ancient Sri Lanka). The effigies are burnt on bonfires in the evening.