Preparation for celebration Dashain festival
Every household all over the Nepal is cleaned and decorated with beautiful paintings, images of Goddess Durga, Saraswati, and Laxmi. There is the reason to clean the house that is if the houses are cleaned, for goddess Durga, it is to come, visit and bless the house owner. Family members use to come their home from far and far away to celebrate Dashain festival gathering at one place. Nepalese people buy the new things in this Dashain festival. They buy new clothes, dresses, gifts, luxuries, jewelers, furniture, etc. Thousands of animals and birds like sheep, goats, ducks, pigeon, chicken and water buffalo are prepared for the holy sacrifice. All types of organizations (government and private) are closed for six to fifteen days. Anywhere you will go the aroma of ‘Vijaya Dashami’ is found.
God and Goddess in Dashain Festival
During Dashain festival, God Rama and Goddess Durga are worshiped mostly. There are not much more or uncountable God and Goddess worshiped in Vijayadashami festival by the Nepalese population. Image worship crept imperceptibly in Hindu religion of Nepal. It was later sanctioned in religious scriptures. Images were considered as personification and God’s head. Rituals for the worship of images were also prescribed in great detail. Temple is uncountable in Nepal.
Even today, people throng to these temples in a large number and worship the goddesses because the people believe that these goddesses are radiating the divine power and influencing (their daily life. On the auspicious occasion of Dashain, the people go to worship Goddess Durga or Kali with their unshakeable faith. From this, it is clear that the Shakti cult is still in vogue and devout devotees of these goddesses worship them with great pomp and show. According to the Vedic philosophy, Durga is considered as Adishakti, the quintessential feminine energy, without whom even Shiva’ becomes ‘Shava’- the corpse. The Hindu devotees believe in worshipping the mother goddess during Dashain, which ensures victory over all evil forces.
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This idol worship is an important feature of the Hindu religion. Idolatry is prohibited in Brahma Samaj and Arya Samaj founded and fostered in the 19th century by Raja Ram Mohan Roy and Swami Dayanand Saraswati respectively. These two cults reach the worship of the ‘Self. However, all Hindus believe in Brahm, the Supreme Being.
See Also: Best 10 Photos of Jamara and Tika of Dashain Festival of Nepal
Female goddesses are most complex and most powerful. They are given various epithets and owe their characteristics to the combination of their descent traced back to Mother Goddess of ancient times and to Shakti, the active dimension of the Godhead, the divine power which underlies the ability of Godhead to create the world and the display itself.
In Nepal, after the 12th century, Goddess is worshiped under different names. In- benevolent aspect is embodied in beautiful Uma (brilliant light), Gauri Kudiance), Parvati (daughter of the Himalaya) and the terrifying manifestations Durga (unapproachable), Kali (black), Chandi (wild), etc. In Nepal, the epithets Durga-Kali are several such as Dakshinkali, Guhekali, Chamunda, Bhavani, lilunavi, Mahalakshmi, Mahakali, Jagadamba, Narayani, Champa Devi, Taleju.
Who celebrates Dashain Festival?
Dashain is one of the most anticipated festivals in Nepal. It is the longest festival in Nepal. It usually falls in the month of Ashwin in the Nepali calendar ( Bikram sambat) and on the month of September on the international calendar (AD). Dashain is celebrated once for 15 days in a year. 15 days long festival is waited by every Nepali because it promises to bring joy and happiness to each and every households of Nepal no matter rich or poor. From rich people living in the bungalows to the poor people living in a small cottage, even for someone living on the streets, it brings a big smile to each and every Nepali throughout the festival.The biggest festival of Nepal starts from Ghatasthapana ( the starting day of the festival.
Dashain is one of the biggest festivals of Nepal, second being Tihar (Deepawali- the festival of lights). Ask any Nepali staying anywhere in the world about the festival, you can see their faces glow while they tell you their stories. Dashain is all about love, spending time with your family, playing cards, flying kites, visiting relatives and food.
But you may be wondering there are people with different castes living in Nepal, and who actually celebrates Dashain? Then here is your answer.
Nepal is a country with a diversified religion, cultures, and traditions as people having different castes live here. All of them have their own culture and traditions and festivals too that they celebrate in their own way. So people with diversified cultures and traditions live here in Nepal. From the hilly region to the Terai region and the Himalayan region in between, all of them have different cultures and traditions. Too much diversification in a small country but all of them still live together helping each other and sharing happiness for which it is also said that Nepal has unity in diversity.
Though there is diversification of cultures and tradition all of them live together and have a strong unity. A perfect example of Nepal having unity in diversity is a festival period of Dashain. Dashain falls on the festival of Hinduism religion. So there is no doubt that the majority of the people celebrating Dashain are Hindus. Besides Hindus, all other Nepalese with different caste and cultures also celebrate this festival equally and together all along with them. There is no any barrier to celebrate this festival but to love and celebrate the festival with full of happiness. Dashain also called Vijaya Dashami is a time to share happiness all around and forget the pain.
Dashain is a national festival of Nepal that is celebrated by every Nepali no matter their caste or gender or wealth or anything. From the wealthiest to the poorest, from Himal to the Terai, each and every Nepali celebrates this auspicious festival. During Dashain people visits their relatives, they share each and every moment, they enjoy their time to the fullest. The celebration of this festival is as big as you think. The 15 days long festival is the heartwarming festival where each and every day is celebrated with joy.
The biggest and grandest festival of Nepali is celebrated by every Nepali in the world. It does not even matter if Nepalese are in a foreign land, they do not forget to celebrate Dashain, either they celebrate where they are gathering together with their friends and family or they travel back to their homeland to celebrate with their family at home. We can see the whole Nepal fresh and glowing during this period of time in a year. The newars of the Kathmandu call it as ‘mwohni’- a Newari word for Dashain while the rest call it as Bijaya Dashami, no matter the name it is Dashain in the end and everyone celebrates happily. This is the time of the year when we can see the rich kid and the poor kid flying kites together in the sky. The smile is everywhere throughout the festival. From the high hills to the pahads and Terai, you can find everyone celebrating this festival.
This auspicious occasion is so glorious to all of us Nepalese. This is the time when every Nepali forgets their pain and struggle and gets lost in the joy and happiness which they share with their family members. This is the time when all the family members come together, no matter in which corner of the world they are at, and spends time together and share every smiles with that which is the very best part of Dashain. Besides, when Dashain comes, you are in for a treat. The only time in a year when the skies of Nepal is full of kites.
The fun flying the kites is evergreen.Also, people go to their relatives to put on the jamara and tika from elders and get their blessings and money, of course! There is also a tradition of sacrificing animals; goat especially in this festival.The most awaited festival of Nepal promises to bring every bit of smile and happiness on each and every Nepalese face, not a doubt it is the biggest festival of Nepal. But although it is celebrated for 15 days, the special event lies only on some days between the period. The important cum special days of this 15 days long festival are Ghatasthapana (1st day), Fulpati ( 7th day), Maha Ashtami (8th day), Maha Nawami ( 9th day) and Vijaya Dashami (10th day). The remaining 5 days are celebrated by visiting relatives for tika and jamara and for family dinners.
In a nutshell, the biggest and most anticipated festival of Nepal that every Nepali wait for a year every year is celebrated by each and every Nepali, whether they are living in the country or in the foreign land. It is celebrated by each and every Nepali from hills to the Terai and Himalayan region in between, from rich to the poor, even people living in the streets, the most awaited festival in Nepal is celebrated by everyone (Nepalese).
How to celebrate Dashain Festival in Nepal
The biggest festive occasion of Nepaldashain is the most anticipated festival for which people need to wait for the full year every year. Dashain which usually occurs in the month of Ashwin in Nepali calendar is 15 days long festival. Dashain is all about spending quality time with friends and family gathering together with family and celebrating each and every moment. Besides spending time with family, people visit their relatives, play cards, fly kites and many other things that people do during the time of Dashain not to mention food and drinks. It is the time of the year when we get to eat a lot of food and drinks. These are some of the things yo do in Dashain.
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Are you new to this festival? Have you been wondering how to celebrate this festival?Then there is a perfect article for you. The 15 days festival has a special occasion in each day where Ghatasthapana being the opening day but the main celebration starts from the day of fulpati which is the 7th day of Dashain. The longest festival of Nepal Dashain can be celebrated in many ways. Here I will give you some of the best and interesting ideas to celebrate Dashain festival in Nepal. The best ways of celebrating Dashain can be:
Spending quality time with your family.
Dashain is all about spending quality time with your family. Office, educational institute, and every sector are closed during this festival. So you can get a lot of time which you can spend with your family. The celebration of Dashain gets more and better if you get to spend it with your family. Playing cards and having late night family dinners, nothing can be better than that. When all of your family members are spending time together, nothing feels warmer than that. Also, these moments can heal your pain, these moments can make you forget your bad times. Therefore, you can celebrate Dashain by spending quality time with your family.
Dashain is the time of the year when we go to visit all of our relatives no matter how far they are. It has been more of a trend, more like a tradition to visit all of our relatives in this festival. We go to our relatives for ‘tika and jamara’ and get blessings from our elders.We also get Dakshina along with tika and jamara.Apart from that we also get to eat food at our relatives. We get to spend time together with our relatives and play cards along with food and drinks. The fun never stops during the time period of Dashain. So we can go to our relatives and spend the time together with all the members and celebrate Dashain. Here, visiting relatives can be one fine way to celebrate Dashain
One immediately remembers playing cards if he/she is asked about Dashain. Yes, playing cards have been more of a trend cum tradition in this festive season. From the local alleys to the full rooms of the houses, we can see everyone playing cards. Dashain, a time in a year when almost each and every member of the family turns into a gambler( even if they did a small amount). Whether it is a small kid or a full grown man, we can find everyone playing cards. People visit their relatives for tika and jamra but they don’t forget to play cards there as well with their relatives. Oh yeah, playing cards have really gone over the head of the people. But remember it’s all just for fun, they just play among the family members. So they can not be called as a gambler, Aye! So playing cards can be one of the fun and interesting way of celebrating Dashain.
The only time in a year, when the bright blue skies that never changes the color can be seen colorful. We can see many kites with different colors in the sky. Remember those childhood lines ‘changa Chait’, ‘rato rang ko dhago nai pugena’? Flying kites can be so much fun than you could expect. Some kids go to the open fields, some go to the top of their houses and fly kites. Not only the kids but we can see the participation of adults too. The tradition of flying kites during Dashain is evergreen. And yes, we fly kites during Dashain only, it’s not that we couldn’t fly on any other days but we won’t because there will not be a taste of flying kites in any other days as we get during Dashain. Nowadays, some have even started the competition of flying kites during Dashain. Hence, flying kites can be one of the other interesting ways of celebrating Dashain.
Friends and family.
Dashain is the time of celebration. This auspicious occasion is a treat for every Nepalese. Eating food and drinking is the call for this festive season. You get to eat a lot of meats and foods with a drink. Spending time with your family and friends, eating, drinking, dancing, playing cards and celebrating. Trust me nothing is more fun than that. So getting together with family and friends and spending time together can be one of the best ways of celebrating Dashain.
Now you know how to do it. How to celebrate Dashain. Dashain can be celebrated in different ways. People have their own way of celebration. Above, I have just explained you some of the best and most common ways of celebrating Dashain.
Dashain, which is celebrated for more than a couple of weeks is a treat to all Nepalese. This festive occasion holds different special occasions and rituals in between. These 15 days of Dashain should be celebrated at your best. The festival that comes for once in 15 days is a must to celebrate by each and every Nepali as it wipes tears and brings all smiles. This Dashain celebrates in the best possible way you can.
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Dashain Festivals in Nepal
During the month of Kartik (late September and early October), the Nepalese people indulge in the biggest festival of the year, Dashain. Dashain is the longest and the most auspicious festival in the Nepalese annual calendar, celebrated by Nepalese of all caste and creed throughout the country. The fifteen days of celebration occurs during the bright lunar fortnight ending on the day of the full moon. Thorough out the kingdom of Nepal the goddess Durga in all her manifestations are worshiped with innumerable pujas, abundant offerings and thousands of animal sacrifices for the ritual holy bathing, thus drenching the goddess for days in blood.
Dashain commemorates a great victory of the gods over the wicked demons. One of the victory stories told is the Ramayan, where the lord Ram after a big struggle slaughtered Ravana, the fiendish king of demons. It is said that lord Ram was successful in the battle only when goddess Durga was evoked. The main celebration glorifies the triumph of good over evil and is symbolized by goddess Durga slaying the terrible demon Mahisasur, who terrorised the earth in the guise of a brutal water buffalo. The first nine days signify the nine days of ferrous battle between goddess Durga and the demon Mahisasur. The tenth day is the day when Mahisasur was slain and the last five days symbolise the celebration of the victory with the blessing of the goddess. Dashain is celebrated with great rejoice, and goddess Durga is worshiped throughout the kingdom as the divine mother goddess.
In preparation for Dashain every home is cleansed and beautifully decorated, painted as an invitation to the mother goddess, so that she may visit and bless the house with good fortune. During this time the reunion of distant and nearby relatives occur in every household. The market is filled with shoppers seeking new clothing, gifts, luxuries and enormous supplies of temple offering for the gods, as well as foodstuffs for the family feasting. Thousands of sheep, goats, ducks, chicken and water buffalo are prepared for the great slaughter. All types of organisations are closed for ten to fifteen days. Labourers are almost impossible to find; from the poor to the rich, all enjoy the festive mood. Anywhere you go the aroma of 'Vijaya Dashami' is found.
The first nine days of Dashain are called Nawa Ratri when tantric rites are conducted. In Nepal the life force is embodied in the divine energy and power of the female, depicted as goddess Durga in her many forms. All goddess who emanated from goddess Durga are known as devis, each with different aspects and powers. In most mother goddess temples the deity is represented simply as a sacred Kalash, carved water jug or multiple handed goddess holding murderous weapons. During these nine days people pay their homage to the goddess. If she is properly worshiped and pleased good fortunes are on the way and if angered through neglect then misfortunes are around the corner. Mother goddess is the source of life and everything.
The first day of Dashain is called Ghatasthapana, which literally means pot establishing. On this day the kalash, (holy water vessel) symbolising goddess Durga often with her image embossed on the side is placed in the prayer room. The kalash is filled with holy water and covered with cowdung on to which seeds are sown. A small rectangular sand block is made and the kalash is put in the centre. The surrounding bed of sand is also seeded with grains. The ghatasthapana ritual is performed at a certain auspicious moment determined by the astrologers. At that particular moment the priest intones a welcome, requesting goddess Durga to bless the vessel with her presence.
The room where the kalash is established is called 'Dashain Ghar'. Generally women are not allowed to enter the room where Dashain puja is being carried out. A priest or a household man worships the kalash everyday once in the morning and then in the evening. The kalash and the sand are sprinkled with holy water everyday and it is shielded from direct sunlight. By the tenth day, the seed will have grown to five or six inches long yellow grass. The sacred yellow grass is called 'Jamara'. It is bestowed by the elders atop the heads of those younger to them during the last five days when tika is put on. The jamara is taken as a token of Goddess Durga as well as the elders blessing.
As days passes by regular rituals are observed till the seventh day. The seventh day is called 'Fulpati'.
In fulpati, the royal kalash filled with holy water, banana stalks, jamara and sugar cane tied with red cloth is carried by Brahmans on a decorated palanquin under a gold tipped and embroidered umbrella. The government officials also join the fulpati parade. With this the Dashain feasting starts.
The eighth day is called the Maha Asthami: The fervour of worship and sacrifice to Durga and Kali increases. On this day many orthodox Hindus will be fasting. Sacrifices are held in almost every house through out the day. The night of the eighth day is called 'Kal Ratri', the dark night. Hundreds of goats, sheep and buffaloes are sacrificed at the mother goddess temples. The sacrifice continues till dawn. While the puja is being carried out great feasts are held in the homes of common people where large amount of meat are consumed.
The ninth day is called Nawami: Temples of mother goddess are filled with people from dawn till dusk. Animals mostly black buffaloes are slaughtered to honour Durga the goddess of victory and might and to seek her blessing. Military bands play war tunes, guns boom and officers with beautifully decorated medals in full uniform stand there. When the function ends the courtyard is filled ankle deep with blood. On this very day the god Vishwa Karma, the God of creativity is also worshiped. All factories, vehicles, any machinery instruments and anything from which we make a living are worshiped. We also give sacrifices to all moving machinery like cars, aeroplanes, trucks etc. to get the blessing from goddess Durga for protection for vehicles and their occupants against accidents during the year. The entire day is colourful.
The tenth day is the Dashami: On this day we take tika and jamara from our elders and receive their blessing. We visit our elders in their home and get tika from them while our younger ones come to our home to receive blessing from us. The importance of Dasain also lies in the fact that on this day family members from far off and distant relatives come for a visit as well as to receive tika from the head of the family. This function continues for four days. After four days of rushing around and meeting your relatives Dashain ends on the full moon day, the fifteenth day. In the last day people stay at home and rest. The full moon day is also called 'Kojagrata' meaning 'who is awake'. The Hindu goddess of wealth Laxmi is worshipped. On this day the goddess Laxmi is given an invitation to visit each and everyone.
After Dashain everyone settles back to normal. After receiving the blessing of goddess Durga, people are ready to work and acquire virtue, power and wealth. Dashain thus is not only the longest festival but also the most anticipated one among all the festivals of Nepal.
~ Article by Avigya Karki