Festivals of Nepal - Dashain
Dashain is one of the biggest and longest festivals of Nepal celebrated for 15 days. The festival falls around September – October but doesn’t have a fixed date every year such as Christmas which is on Dec 25th every year. It is also celebrated by all caste in Nepal.
It is celebrated each day for different manifestations of goddess Durga for up to 9 days and the 10th day for the victory against the demon named Mahisashura who created havoc and terrorized plant Earth and Devloka (home of gods). The remaining 5 days are celebrated as for the celebration of the victory. Many Nepalese abroad try to make their home in Dashain to receive blessings from elders.
The word Durg in Sanskrit means prison/jail and ‘a’ signifies the owner/jailor of the prison. Hence, goddess Durga is the jailor of Planet Earth. In short, the celebration glorifies the triumph of good over evil and worshipping goddess Durga blesses us with good luck and fortune.
People from different age esp. young teenagers fly colorful kites which hint Dashain is coming soon. People in communities make a bamboo swing in every crossroads or open fields of the villages and enjoy riding swings. All the TV and radio stations play a theme of Dashain tune which is called Mangal Dhun (the auspicious tune). Buying new clothes and playing cards are some other ways of celebration. Devotees visit different temples of goddess Durga in the first 9 days which also is called Nava Ratri.
The 1st day is called Ghatasthapana in which people install kalasha (a pot filled with holy water) which symbolizes the power of Goddess Durga. A priest will then perform a ceremonial ritual to call goddesses Durga to bless the vessel and barley seeds are planted on the sand which is called Jamara.
The 7th day is called Fulpati where a military parade is held on Tudikhel. The 8th day is called Maha Astami which on that day had a fierce blood thirty manifestations of Goddess Durga called as Maha Kali. The 9th day is called Maha Nawami. On this 9th day - vehicles, tools, machinery equipment are worshipped for their prolong life and to avoid misfortunes.
Finally the 10th day – the victory day is called Vijaya Dashami. On this day – on an auspicious time onwards, starting from the elder, put tika (a mixture of red color, rice, curd) on the forehead of family members with Jamara (on top of head) giving blessings of wellbeing. This is done up to the final 15th day which is called Kojagrata Purnima (full moon day).
So, to be part of Dashain, to observe the culture, or maybe even to fly kite, feel free to email or contact us.
Thamel, Kathmandu, Nepal
Binod Thapa (USA)
Phone: +1 443 985 2950