Dahain is one of the most auspicious festival in Nepal, especially among the Hinduism followers. It is probably the longest festival in Nepal that lasts for fifteen days and is celebrated not only throughout the country but also in some other countries where Hindus have been living. On this most anticipated festival, all the government offices, educational institutes and organizations remain closed for five to ten days, in order to celebrate it together with their family and friends. Most people who go abroad, also reunite in Nepal to celebrate Dashain together.
The great festival Dashian has an interesting religious story behind its celebration. According to the Hindu Puran, the terrible demon Mahisasur terrified every living being on earth with his brutal and evil powers. After a long assassination of the people including even the Gods in heaven, Goddess Durga splayed the demonic monster and got victory over the evil. Hence, Dashain symbolizes the triumph of good over evil and therefore, is celebrated by all rich and poor in the country. Among the fifteen days of the festival, the first nine days represent the rentless and cruel battle between the Goddess and the monster whereas, the tenth day symbolizes the day of triumph. The rest of the five days are to celebrate the victory and share blessings with the Goddess.
The festival which generally falls on Ashwin Shukla Prathama and ends on Kojagrat Purnima (late September to early October) is also the main festive season of the year. The markets are very crowded by the shoppers, especially for clothing, luxury goods, delicious foods and of course, the necessary goods to worship the Goddess during the period of ten days. This festive season is also very awaited by the children as they would love to fly kites high in the sky and play swings. This festival is specially celebrated by the Newar community of the kathmandu valley. Almost all the Durga temples are worshipped by such community and they also emphasis on family gathering for dinner as they call it a “Nakhtya”. In fact, the whole of the valley will seem quiet less crowded and spacious as most of the Nepalese head towards their villages in order to Put Tika and get blessings from their elders.
This incredible festival begins from Ghatasthapana when people will plant “Jamara” and establish Goddess Durga inside their houses. They will worship the pot in which Jamara is sown for the next ten days. Then the next important day in this long festival is the Fulpati which means the 7th day. On this day, the holy pot is carried by Brahmins and even the government official join the fulpati parade. With this, the glorious Dashain starts. The 8th day is called Maha Asthami when the sacrifices of animals to Durga and Kali increases. The next 9th day is called Nawami when the God of creativity Vishwa Karma is worshipped. People also sacrifice chicken, egg, duck, goat, etc to all important machinery like cars, aero planes, motorbikes and bicycles, in order to pray for protection from the Goddess. Finally, the tenth day is called Bijaya Dahami when people take tika and jamara from the elders and recieve their blessings. Now the rest of the next five days, people visit their relatives and elders to take blessings and put tika. Finally, the full moon is the day when Dashain ends officially.
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