Tamil Nadu
In Tamil Nadu, the first three days are dedicated to the worship of Lakshmi---Goddess of Wealth and Prosperity---the next three days are devoted to the worship of Saraswati--Goddess of Learning and Arts--while the last three days are devoted to worshiping Durga---Godess of Shakti. In Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, families decorate dolls (Bommai Kolu) and prepare an elaborate spread of lamps and flowers. Women traditionally exchange gifts of coconuts, clothes and sweets. Vijayadashami is also considered an auspicious occasion for children to commerce their education in classical dance and music, and to pay homage to their teachers.

In Kerala, children are initiated and set on the course of schooling and learning on this auspicious day of Vijayadashami. This function is also known as 'Vidyaarambham'. i.e., beginning of learning. Rice is spread on a tray and seating the new vidyarthi (student) on his lap, the father holds the right hand of the child and guides it to write witha finger "Hari Shri Ganapathaye namaha".

In West Bengal
In Bengal and other parts of eastern India, Dussehra is celebrated as Durga Puja. Devotees wear new clothes and celebrate with music, dance and drama. On the last day, images of the warrior goddess are taken out in procession and immersed in a river or the sea.