Dashain 2021 has arrived!
Just like each year Dashain 2021 A.D. or 2078 B.S. is here bringing rejoice and ecstasy in the lives of people.
Dashain also was known as Vijaya Dashami is the most auspicious and biggest festival of Hindu culture. It is celebrated widely in Nepal by every Nepalese of any kind of caste and race. It is also celebrated in some parts of India(Sikkim, Assam and Darjeeling district) and among Lhotshampa of Bhutan and the Burmese Gurkhas of Myanmar. In India, it is termed as Dashera.
Generally, Dashain is the celebration of the Goddess Durga that’s why it is also called Durga Pooja. This festival mostly falls in the month of September or October each year which usually starts from Shukla Paksha(Bright Lunar Fortnight) and ends on the day of Purnima, the Full Moon. Traditionally, It is celebrated for 15 days. In Nepal, all the government and private offices, educational institutions remain closed during the period of the festival.
A little history behind Dashain
According to Hindu mythology, the demon Mahishasura had caused demolition in the land of God known as Devaloka. Despite the terror Goddess Durga was successful to defeat Mahishasura. She killed Mahishasura on the tenth day. That’s why the tenth day is considered as the vital day of Dashain.
How is Dashain celebrated?
During the initial days of Dashain, people in every household clean their entire house and surroundings. They decorate it with beautiful new things some even paint their house to make it look new. People buy new things in Dashain every year. They buy new clothes, shoes, household items, gifts, machinery items, and many others. They visit temples to pray to different God and Goddesses. With a long period of holiday, people often travel around different places maybe for a long tour. They play cards and spend quality time with friends and families etc. Making Sel roti(Traditional ring-shaped rice bread/doughnut in Nepal) is very common and popular during Dashain.
But the main reason for Dashain is receiving blessings and love form elder people. It is commonly assumed that the tika and blessings received in Dashain from the elder’s bring positive outcomes.
Let’ see the important days of Dashain.
Day 1: Gatasthapana
On the first day, the festival starts traditionally with Gatasthapana, where a pot is filled with holy water which is then covered with cow dung and sewn with barley seeds. A small rectangular sand block is made and the Kalash is put in the center. This activity is done in a separate room which is formally called ‘Dashain Ghar‘. The pot or Kalash is worshipped two times a day in the morning and in the evening. Holy water is offered in it every day and in the tenth day, the seeds are fully grown to a long yellow grass of about five to six-inch-long which we call ‘Jamara‘.
Day 7: Phulpati
On the seventh day, Phulpati is celebrated. On this day, the Brahmans carry the royal Kalash filled with holy water, banana stalks, jamara, and sugar cane tied with a red cloth. This event takes place in Tudhikhel of Kathmandu. The government officials also join the phulpati parade as it heads to Hanumandhokha Royal Palace.
Day 8: Asthami
On the eight-day, asthami is celebrated where worship and sacrifice are made for Goddess Durga and Kali. On this day many conservative Hindus will be fasting. Sacrifices are held in almost every house throughout the day. The night of the eighth day is called ‘Kal Ratri‘, the dark night. Hundreds of animals such as goats, sheep, and buffaloes are sacrificed at the mother goddess temples. The sacrifice continues till dawn. While the puja is being carried out Dashain feasts are held in the homes of common people where they prepare delicious food.
Day 9: Nawami
On a ninth day, nawami is celebrated where animals mostly black buffaloes are slaughtered to honor Goddess Durga 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. This is the day where any kind of industries, factories, offices, vehicles, any machinery equipment and anything from which people make their living are worshiped. It is believed that if we worship machinery items like cars, motorbikes, jeep, etc. then Goddess Durga will protect its owner from accidents and hazards.
Day 10: Vijaya Dashami or Tika Day
On the tenth day, which is the most important and main 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 a blessing from us. The importance of Dashain 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 till the 15th day known as Kojagrata Purnima or full moon day. This is the day where Laxmi, Goddess of Wealth visits the home of each and every individual and give blessings to everyone. And this ends the celebration of Dashain.
Dashain is a prestigious and longest festival of Nepal bringing lots of happiness and joy between each and every people of the nation. It is the only big festival which brings all family members, relatives and friends together. Not only in Nepal but also Hindu people or Nepalese living abroad like US, Canada, Australia celebrate this grand festival with lots of excitement. They visit each other’s houses, put on Tika, Jamara and enjoy special Dashain food feast.
One important purpose of celebrating Dashain is to maintain a good relationship between families, friends, colleagues and each and every individual of the nation spreading positiveness among all. Let the good spirit inside us win over the evil ones and celebrate this Dashain with high enthusiasm and love.
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