15 days Dashain festival in Nepal

Ashok

Dashain festival in Nepal is one of the grandest,longest & most auspicious festival originating from Nepal,which celebrates especially Hindus & Karats of Nepal & Nepali speaking Indian Gurkha’s of Darjeeling,Sikkim,Assam & Northern states of India as well as Burmese Gurkha’s of Myanmar & Lhotsampa of Bhutan.This amazing festival has been celebrating for belief of the goddess durga victory over the demon Mahishasura.It takes 15 days to complete with each day different values,methods of celebration,beliefs & overwhelming participation of neighbor & relatives.It falls normally on the month of September & October on solar calendar.

This year, Dashain festival in Nepal starts from 17 October to 2 November 2020 as per the English calendar & According to Nepali calendar it falls from Kartik 1 to Kartik 15 in 2077 B.C. Along with religious belief & Values, It has also emphasized the importance of family reunion & Nepalese will hold the celebrations for the fertility of land & a year of good harvest. All the government offices,educational institutions & other public sectors remain close during the festival ( esp. 10 days).

Why is the Dashain festival is celebrated ?

Kailash Mansarovar yatra

Kailash Mansarovar yatra

Dashain festival in Nepal is one of the triumphs over the wicked demons by god Durga according to Hindus mythology & it reflects some victory stories that Ramayan, where Lord Ram was able to get a successful victory over Ravana,the fiendish king of demons only when god Durga was evoked. The main celebration of the festival is the victory of goddess Durga over Mahisasur,where demons were killed by goddess Durga in Multiple days. That’s Why people have been celebrating it with the hope & belief that evil cannot win and it always comes to cease.
Those initial nine days signify the constant battle between goddess Durga & demon Mahisasur. The tenth day is the day when goddess Durga finally won over the demon & evil.Then the last five days symbolism the celebration of the victory with the blessing of the goddess. Finally belief of the festival is there is always a win of truth even though how strong or powerful the demon.

Those special days in Dashain Festival in Nepal as follows;

Day 01: Ghatasthapana, sowing holy Jamara

The first day of Dashain is known as Ghastasthapana. On this day people use Kalash (holy water vessel) to symbolize the goddess Durga. The kalash is filled with holy water, mixture of different seeds & Cow dung. After all Kalash is delivered to the priest to the blessing of goddess Durga. Then Kalash will be placed in the room for 10 days, but it has to be worshiped twice a day especially morning & evening. Traditionally women & outsiders were not allowed to worship on Kalash, but it has changed with social awareness & women also have the right to worship it. The kalash is protected from sunlight & Put water every day during worship until 10 days. By the tenth day,the seeds will have grown to five or six inches long yellow grass, this sacred yellow grass is known as “Jamara”. Jamara is bestowed by the elder at the top of heads or on the ear to the younger during the last five days with Tika on forehead.

Day 07: Fulpati ( sacred flowers)

Fulpati is the special day of the Dashain festival. On this day, royal Kalash filled with holy water,banana stalks,Jamara & sugar cane tied with red clothes is carried out by Brahmans on a decorated palanquin under a gold tipped and embroidered umbrella from Gorkha to Kathmandu. It often takes three days trekking to complete 169 km long way. The government officers also join the Fulpati parade with their traditional dress & After the royal family was overthrown the president of Nepal attended the Fulpati parade instead of the king.

Day 08: Maha Asthami

On this bloody day,in the favour of worship there is a big sacrifice to Durga & Kali increases. Many orthodox Hindus remain fasting till the Kalratri puja ‘’ Dark night” at midnight. Hundreds of goats(especially black), buffaloes & sheep are sacrificed at the mother goddess Durga temple. Some of the meat are dedicated to the god & rest of it takes to own home as “Prasad”,it has been believed that if you get a chance to eat “Prasad” that will bring you good luck.

Day 09: Maha Navami

Maha Navami is the most valuable day of this festival,on this day all the celebrations reach their peak. There would be almost every house cut goats,sheep or buffalo’s to sacrifice the goddess Durga across the county. Movement of relatives starts from this day & they have different kinds of foods together. People also celebrate Vishswa puja on this day by worshiping their means of transport, hoping to avoid traffic accidents in the coming year. Especially in the Kathamndu valley The Taleju Temple, Patan & Bhaktapur are open for public only on this day.

Day 10: Bijay dashami

This is the day of goddess Duraga victory over demons after the 10th days. One of the special & happy days of the festival begins from this day. Relatives & Neighbors get together with each other & Elder starts to place different colors of Tika (esp red) to the younger with some money for the daughter & food for the rest. In the countryside of Nepal people walk a long distance to get Tika & blessing from the elder people,which continues till the Khojagrata Purnima.If you are in Kathmandu you can observed the splendid Paredes & Masked dance.

Day 15: Khaojagrata purnima

It is believed that after the goddess Duraga triumphs over demons on the tenth day,they celebrate a five days victory party till the Khaojagrata purnima. Therefore, this full moon day is the ending of the Dashain festival. According to Hinduism mythology it is believed that if someone awake at the night goddess Durga will come to earth & bless the people who did not sleep the whole night.

How do the people entertain in this Dashain festival in Nepal?

There are many different way of entertaining in this festival nowadays, but traditionally it has been following the some specific games like as;

  • Flying kites
  • Playing cards
  • Purchasing & Buying a new clothes
  • Playing on the swing & Ferris wheels

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