CREDOS : Dashain

Navaratri, or the “festival of nights”, is celebrated to honour the goddesses, beginning on the ninth day of the month of Virgo or Kanya (September/October). Total worship lasts for nine days, out of which the first three are devoted to Durga (the Goddess of Power), the next three days to Lakshmi (the Goddess of Wealth) and the next three days to Saraswati (the Goddess of Knowledge).

The idols of the goddesses are created, worshipped and then immersed in the sea or a lake. On the tenth day, elder members of the family put red tika (mixture of rice grains, curds and vermillion powder) on the forehead of young ones. Along with it, the juniors also receive jamara (barley sap-lings) from the elders. Jamara is planted on the day of Ghatasthapana (the first of the 10 days of Dashain), in the puja room of households celebrating Dashain.

Dashain is the celebration of the victory of Goddess Durga (Kali) over the demon in the form of a buffalo named Mahishasura. It is said that Goddess Durga took nine days and nights to annihilate the demon. Dashain is another name for the nine-day Navaratri festival, which is celebrated all across Nepal, and some states of India as well.

Dashain is also celebrated as the victory of Lord Rama over the demon-king Ravana of Sri Lanka. Rama symbolises the best in humanity while Ravana represents evil forces. Dashain in Sanskrit also means taking away the ten sins. The ten heads of Ravana represent these ten sins and Rama destroys each one of them.

— Am I a Hindu? & Fasts and Festivals of India