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Dashain festival Nepal

Posted on Oct 5, 2013 by NepalTravel under Culture and Festival

Tags: Dashain,Festival,Essay,Nepal

Dashain is the national festival of Nepal. Dashain symbolizes the victory of gods over demons and victory of good over the evil. According to Hindu philosophy, a demon called ‘Maishasura’ was killed by goddess Durga and saved everyone from his evils. Thus, dashain is celebrated for this victory over the demon. Goddess Durga is considered as the goddess of power and justice. Dashain is celebrated by Hindus all over the world. It has special significance in Hinduism and is celebrated for 15 days.

The first day of Dashain is known as ‘Ghatasthapana’.

Ghatasthapana

Dashain starts with planting of jamara. On this day, every household prepares a nice pot known as ‘kalash’ and cover its outer part with holy cow dung and ‘jau’ (barley). Pure sand is collected to produce jamara from barley. Generally, supreme male member of the family performs puja every morning and evening and worship goddess durga and the kalash.

The second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth day of dashain is celebrated by visiting different temples, worshipping goddess durga and mahakali and performing regular puja at home.

The seventh day of Dashain is known as fulpati.

Fulpati

On this day ‘fulpati’ (different types of flowers, jamara and banana stalks necessary) for vijaya dashami (tenth day of dashain) are brought to Kathmandu durbar square from Gorkha dashain ghar. A special program is organized by the government where Nepalese army performs parade and majestic displays along with gun fire. Every general family according to their ritual brings their fulpati in their dashain ghar. Government holiday starts from the day of fulpati. People enjoy the festival by involving themselves in playing card, flying kites and eat varieties of foods along with meat cuisines.

The eight day of Dashain is known as Astami or Maha Astami.

Astami or Maha Astami

On this day, people visit different temples of goddess Durga Bhawani and Mahakali. There are number of temples of durga bhawani and mahakali in Kathmandu valley and around the Kathmandu valley. These temples are specially known as ‘shakti peeths’.  Large number of people can be seen in these temples.  Maha astami is believed to be the main day of dashain. Temples like naxal bhagawati, guheshwori, maitidevi, kalikasthan, bhadrakali, sobhabhagawati, nardevi, palanchowk bhagawati, dakshinkali, bagalamukhi and taleju bhawani are specially visited during dashain. All these temples have their own cultural and historical significance.  Numbers of animals are sacrificed to the goddess in taleju temple on the night of maha astami.  Devotees throng over all these temples in hoping to eliminate troubles, ego, and any other destroying factor from their lives. Some offer animal sacrifices to durga bhawani or some offer other offerings.  One can see large number of animal sacrifices in temples of durga bhawani and mahakali during dashain.  Every household according to their financial status sacrifices male goats, duck, buffalo, etc. in their house.

The ninth day of dashain is known as ‘Mahanawami’.

Mahanawami

Regular puja of dashain is carried out as usual. People worship their vehicles, instruments, machines on this day.  Some offer animal sacrifices to machines and some offer coconuts in replacement of animals. Taleju bhawani temple at Hanumandhoka Durbar Square is opened once a year on this day for general public. Devotees queue up at the temple from all early in the morning till the evening to worship the goddess.

The tenth day of dashain is known as Vijaya Dashami.

Vijaya Dashami

On this day, the planted jamara and kalash is taken out from the puja ghar and the eldest member of the family provides jamara and red tika to all the family members. People receive tika, jamara and blessings from their elders and relatives. There is also a culture of giving ‘dakshina’ (money gift) to younger ones.  Everyone make themselves ready with new clothes and lovely ornaments while receiving tika.  Special meat cuisines and other food items are prepared in every household according to their financial budget. People involve themselves in receiving tika from their relatives, inviting friends and relatives for lunch or dinner during tika days of dashain. This celebration is carried out for four days.

The last day of dashain is known as Kojagrat Purnima (full moon day).

Kojagrat Purnima

On this day the planted jamara and other flowers collected for tika are dispatched from the house.  Goddess Laxmi, god of wealth is worshipped on this day. It is believed that goddess Laxmi visit homes of people who are awake all night. So people indulge themselves in playing cards all night and enjoy on their own.

Dashain festival falls around the month of October and November. The weather during dashain is super fine (Neither so hot nor so cold). People get involved in different kinds of fun activities with the starting of dashain. It includes playing cards, playing swing, flying kites, etc.  A week long government holiday is given to everyone to celebrate dashain. Shopping is another exciting aspect of dashain. Parents buy new clothes for their children and even for themselves. Dashain is all about celebration, tradition, respect, fun and preservation of culture.

Dashain Tika Mantra

आयुर्द्रोणसुते श्रियो दशरथे शत्रुक्षयं राघवे ।

ऐश्वर्य नहुषे गतिश्च पवने मानञ्च दुर्योधने ॥

शौर्य शान्तनवे बलं हलधरे सत्यञ्च कुन्तीसुते ॥

जयन्ती मङ्गला काली भद्रकाली कपालिनी ।

दुर्गा क्षमा शिवा धात्री स्वाहा स्वधा नमोस्तु ते ॥

जय त्वं देवि चामुण्डे जय भूतापहारिणि ।

जय सर्वगते देवि कालरात्रि नमोऽस्तु ते ॥

ब्रह्मा करोतु दीर्घायुर्विष्णु: करोतु सम्पद: ।

हरो हरतु पापानि गात्रं रक्षतु चण्डिका ॥

आवाहनं न जानामि न जानामि समर्पूणम् ।

पूजां चैव न जानामि क्षम्यतां परमेश्र्वरि ॥

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