Dashain is one of the most important festivals for Hindus in Nepal. Nepal is dominated by Hindu religion and also regarded as the Hindu Kingdom. Mostly Hindu observe many festivals in every month of the year, in 365 days Hindus celebrate 366 festivals in a year.
Among them, Dashain is the greatest festival. It is usually observed in the month of September. It falls in the month of Ashwin or Kartik according to the Nepali calendar. It is observed for almost 10 days. All the
educational institutions, government, and non-government offices remain closed during this festival.
Dashain is the festival which is celebrated as a victory of good over evil. It is a festival celebrated in honor of mother goddess.
According to Hindu mythology, goddess Bhagawati, the goodness a power killed Mahishsur, the symbol of evil. It is celebrated every year in his memory. The essence of the mythology that encourages us to celebrate Dashain is that the god gets the victory and the evil is ultimately defeated. Thus, this festival encourages us to follow the right path.
Dashain starts with the ‘Ghatasthapana’. This is the first day of Dashain. Since Ghatasthapana, goddess Durga is worshipped for almost nine days and night that’s why this day is called “Navaratri “.
Out of the nine days the last four days Saptami Durgastmi, Mahanawami and Vijayadashami are important. During such kind of period, people worship the image of Durga at home. They also visit the temples of goddess Durga. The seventh day of Dashain is Saptami or Phulpati.
On this day flowers are brought from Gorkha Durbar to Kathmandu Hanuman Dhoka. This is taken in relays in one day. The eight and ninth days are called Maha Ashtami and Maha Nawami respectively. On these days, goats, buffaloes, hen, ducks sheep, etc. are sacrificed in every home and Durga Temple. Moreover, during Maharatri period, people indulge in merrymaking and fasting.
All villagers, towns, and cities have a festive look. People clean their houses and put on new clothes. Children wear new clothes and eat festive dishes. Many people eat meat. People take rest from work and enjoy the festival. Schools, camps, offices, and other business concerns remain closed.
The tenth day is the most important day of Dashain. This is a day of commemorating Ram’s victory over Ravan. It is a victory of good over evil. On this day, people wear new clothes and seek blessings from their superior. People put Tika on their foreheads and use Jamara on their heads and bless them. People also feed their near and dear ones. In some parts of the country, this continues for five days.
Vijaya Dashami is a time of showing goodwill and bestowing blessings. People forget their ill feelings and quarrels and welcome one another. It is considered to be an auspicious time. People start new undertakings or go on a journey on this day. It is the day for starting new ventures. Moreover, those who are away also come home to celebrate this festival.
Dashain is a time of happiness. All the classes of people whether rich or poor observe this festival. All the people celebrate this festival with great joy. The houses are cleaned and decorated. People wear new clothes and eat meat. Children play cards. But Dashain has been the time of misery for people.
These people remain in debt throughout the year. But this is not good. This should be discouraged. Dashain should be spent joyfully. We should not spend more than what we can afford. It is a festival of joy for us.