Dashain : The biggest festival of Nepal being celebrated this week
Kathmandu — Dashain is the biggest festival of Hindu Nepali. Today is “Astami” the eighth day of the Dashain. The festival is mostly popular for eating delicious foods, wearing new clothes, and engaging in recreational activities.
The nine days festival is celebrated in the month of Ashwin. During Dashain people worship goddess Durga for nine days. On tenth day of festival elders give golden barley shoots and put Tika on the forehead of younger members of the family and bless them for peace, progress and prosperity in the life. People within Nepal and abroad visits their native places to celebrate Bada Dashain festival with their family and friends.
Likewise, October 3 and 4 will mark Mahaashtami and Mahanavami respectively. Tika or Vijaya Dashami, the main day of Dashain will be celebrated on October 5 .
Though tika can be received and offered from the day of Vijaya Dashami to Kojagrat Purnima, Nepal Panchanga Nirnayak Bikas Samiti, the government body authorised to decide dates and times for Hindu festivals to be celebrated in the country, has informed that 11:51 am on October 5 will be the most auspicious time to receive Dashain Tika this year.
According to popular Hindu myth, Goddess Durga had killed the demon king Mahishasur on Mahanavami and Vijaya Dashami symbolises the victory of good over evil.
During Navaratra, devotees visit the temples of the goddess of power.
About 10 days of Dashain festival
The first day of Dashain is known as Ghatasthapana, on this day, people fill a vessel with sand and sow maize and barley seeds and is covered and worshiped for 10 days.
On the seventh day, Phulpati is celebrated which is also known as ‘Saptami’.
The eight day is regarded as Maha Aastami. On this day, animals like buffaloes, ducks, goats, hens are sacrificed to Goddess Kali and the meat is taken as ‘Prasad’ (holy food). The night of this day is called the dark night- ‘Kal Ratri’.
Maha Navami is the ninth day of Dashain. On this day, craftsman, mechanics, traders etc worship their equipment and tools by sacrificing different animals and offering it to equipment.
The tenth day is named as Vijaya Dashami which is the most important day of this festival. On the tenth day, younger ones in a family receive Tika (a mixture of yogurt, rice and vermilion), Jamara (planted on the first day of Dashain) and blessings from elders as well as respected people.
This festival is in fact the ceremony of reunion and fun. People living far away from home or homeland, revisit their home and get together with their families. Similarly, parents buy new clothes to their children. People enjoy eating mouth-watering foods and playing a lot of games including cards. People invite guests, organize feast, visit their relatives’ houses, fly kites, build bamboo swings and get involved in various entertaining activities.