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Vijaya Dashami, or the tenth and final day of Durga Puja, is also known as Dashami. This is the day when good triumphed over evil and the Demon Mahishasur was destroyed. With the passage of time, Vijaya Dashami fast evolved as a highly auspicious day in the Hindu Bengali festival and religious customs. Maa Durga epitomizes valiance, courage and immortal beauty. Durga Pooja is a fabulous way to honor the age-old Bengali customs and traditions. Bengali community celebrates Vijaya Dashami as the defeat of evil over the good.
There are two main legends behind Vijaya Dashami. One states that this is the day of return of Goddess Durga to her husband Shiv's house (Mount Kailash). Devi Durga is basically on a ten-day visit on earth, her maternal home.
- The journey to her father's home (King Himalay) begins on the day of Mahalaya, i.e., the first day and ends on Vijaya Dashami.
- The other legend says that this is the day when Devi Durga triumphed over the bull demon, Mahishasur. Both these versions have been tied together over the generations of oral tradition.
- It now said that, Durga Puja is a celebration of the victory of truth fought in a battle zillions of years ago, and since then Maa Durga has been visiting her maternal home on those specific days of war.
- Vijaya Dashami marks the return of the mother and wife to Mount Kailash and the end of evil era.
- On the day of Vijaya Dashami, the Durga idol is submerged in the holy waters of Ganges (or any other available water body). The ritualistic immersion, known as Bisarjan, takes place in the presence of sunís light and by reflecting the shadow of Goddess Durga in a bowl of water.
- Traditional food of Dashami, offered to Maa Durga, is rice soaked in water for overnight (panta bhat) and certain kind of asparagus herb cooked in spices known as "kochur shak". In the afternoon, the married women bid adieu to the Devi by playing with vermilion (Sindoor). Sweets and beetle leaves are offered dafter/during this game.
- After the Durga idol is immersed into water, the tradition hugs start doing rounds. It is known as 'kolakuli" (a friendly hugging). They visit each others home to perform the tradition of Vijayadashami, known as Subho Bijoya.
- The younger ones touch the feet of the elderly people to get their blessings.