• Jul 8, 2022
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Nepal is highly regarded as the land of gods and goddesses since ancient times. According to various Hindu mythologies, this country is blessed by the holy almighty. It is believed that you get all your wishes fulfilled if you pay your visit to the shrines of this nation. Moreover, throughout the year the nation celebrates festivals of different kinds. Among many festivals in Nepal Dashain Festival is the biggest of them all. It is also the only festival when government provides the longest holiday. Celebration of this festival is done to mark the victory of virtue over sin.

Dashain festival is also known as the Vijaya Dashami. It is celebrated by Hindus in Nepal and the Nepalese diaspora all over the world. Similarly, the festival has different names and different styles of offering puja (prayers) among Hindus of India, Myanmar & Bhutan. People of these parts of the world celebrate the festival in the name of Dussera.

Dashain

What is Dashain Festival?

Dashain is the celebration of the victory of good over evil beings. It also represents the victory of goddess Durga over the demon Mahisasura. According to Hindu scriptures, the demon wreaked havoc in heaven (Devlok – place where gods live). To free the people and god from his terror goddess, Durga killed the demon. There is another myth too behind the celebration of this festival. It is also celebrated to mark the victory of Lord Ram over Ravan.

There is a total of 15 days of festive celebration but significant days are 10 days. However, people get the official holiday of 6 days. Schools & Colleges remain closed for 10 – 15 days. The most significant days during this festival are as follows:

 

1st Day: Ghatasthapana

7th Day: Fulpaati

8th Day: Ashtami

9th Day: Navami

10th Day: Dashami

15th Day: Kojagrat Purnima

Importance of Dashain Festival

This festival is very significant to Nepalese people regardless of their religion. Therefore, it is beyond religious practices. It shows a great deal of religious harmony among Nepalese people. However, the rituals are performed only by Hindus.

People who are far from their homes return to their families and rejoice together. The festival also symbolizes the tradition of Nepal. The tradition of respecting elders and blessing the young is what makes this festival the most important to Hindus.

The festival is equally important as the economic activities too. People buy various apparel for home appliances during the festival. The market keeps on buzzing during the festival. Therefore, it has huge importance in terms of economic activities too.

As for the holiday goers, the festival provides a long holiday. Longer holidays mean the chances of travelling as well. Therefore, the festival contributes to the tourism industry too.

When Dashain Festival is celebrated?

The Festival falls on the months of Ashwin according to the Nepalese Calendar which is between September and November. During this time of the year, the climate is cool and pleasant. There are no exact dates for this festival. Every year the dates change. Purbanga Samiti (Group of Priests) decides the dates of each year’s Dashain festival.

How is Dashain Festival Celebrated?

Dashain Festival is celebrated by rejoicing among relatives. People fly kites, play swings, and cards, and do shopping. Apart from these activities, they offer the goat sacrifice in the name of goddess Durga too. People pay their visit to various Durga temples.

Day-to-day analysis of the Dashain festival and its celebration is as follows:

1st Day: Ghatasthapana

It is the first day of Vijaya Dasami. The day marks the start of this biggest festival in Nepal. People plant the Jamara and do the Durga Thapana (creating a Dhasain Ghar inside their house). Jamara is a sacred plant that is given to the people on the 10th day of this festival as a blessing. It is sowed in soil mixed with sand and cow dung. People use corn and barley seeds.

7th Day: Fulpaati


Fulpati Parade

The seventh day of this festival is known as Fulpaati. In hilly areas of Nepal, the day is also called “Bato Khanne Din”. This means on this day people clean the road and their houses. It is to welcome the relatives who have gone far from home too.

There is a unique tradition followed by the government too. On this day the holy Brahmin brings the royal “Falko Dashain Doli” (decorated flowers, sugarcane & Prasad) from Gorkha (the place where the unification of Nepal began) to Kathmandu Durbar Square. Nepalese Army fires guns in an honor of the parade.

8th Day: Ashtami

This day is also called Maha Ashtami. On this day, devotees worship goddess Durga. The fierce manifestation of goddess Durga appears on this day in the form of Kali. Therefore, people sacrifice animals like goats, ducks, hens & buffaloes to the goddess.

This day is also called Kaal Ratri. People eat meats and various delicacies. Usually, the meat lasts up to the 15th day of the festival.

Nowadays, some people avoid sacrificing animals. It is due to the rising awareness regarding animal cruelty. Instead of animals, they offer various vegetables.

9th Day: Navami

Coming to this day, the festival hits its peak. It is the last day of Navaratri and the day before Vijaya Dashami. Some castes perform the sacrificing as in Ashtami on this day.

Another major highlight of this day is the Bishwokarma Puja too. On this day people worship their machinery equipment including automobiles.

10th Day: Dashami

Dashain tika

Dashami is also known as Vijaya Dashami. It is the most important day of the Dashain Festival. People queue to get Tika (rice, curd & vermillion) & Jamara on their forehead. Elders give blessings to young ones. People meet, rejoice and share emotional bonding. It is a proper family get-together time. They visit their relatives and exchange celebratory gifts too.

15th Day: Purnima

This is the final day of the festival. Jamara sown on the festival's first day is flown into the river. It officially signifies the end of the festival. Until this day people visit their relatives to get Tika and Jamara.

Trekking during Dashain Festival

The weather and social vibes at this time of the year are great. It is the autumn season in Nepal. Therefore, it is an ideal time to visit this great country. Apart from the natural wonders, trekkers get a huge opportunity to witness the cultural grandeur of the Nepalese people.

Visit Nepal during the festival and rejoice like the Nepalese people. Know these people culturally. It is the best way to understand the root and traditions of the Nepalese people. Every year lots of people visit the country during this time of the year. The vibes and hospitality are of an utmost high standard while travelling during the Dashain festival period.

After week-long regular working days, Nepalese people again celebrate the second biggest festival the Tihar. Please follow our blogs for similar kinds of information. If you want to travel during the months of the Dashain or Tihar festival in Nepal, contact our travel planners. We will knit the best itinerary for you to enjoy both the Natural Wonders and Cultural Grandeurs of Nepal.

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