The Dashain festival (also known as Bada Dashain or Vijaya Dashama), the largest and longest Hindu festival, mostly celebrated in Nepal. Dashain begins on Ghatasthapana and ends on Kojagrat Purnima, lasting fifteen days. As a community, Nepalese Hindus celebrate many ceremonies and traditions during the fifteen-day period. All schools, government offices, and offices are closed during the 15-day Dashain festival. Dashain usually falls on the first Monday in October (Ashoj or Kartik in the Nepalese calendar). Here we going to discuss Dashain festival facts, which many of us may do not know.
Goddess Durga defeats buffalo demon Mahisasur, as well as several other demons, during the festival celebrating victories of Hindu gods, such as Ram defeating Ravan in a duel. In its entirety, the festival celebrates good triumphing over evil and the stories used as part of the ceremony provide moral examples to the community.
As part of Dashain celebrations, people have fiesta-style parties, eat home-cooked meals, and fly kites to represent freedom. Natives believe flying kites will communicate with God to end the rainy season during the festival, observed always past the Monsoon season. A lot of animals are sacrificed in this festival, most of them goats, sheep, chickens, or buffaloes. Although the Hindu scriptures do not mention the slaughter of animals, and animal rights activists strongly condemn its practice, the trend has changed to sacrificing fruits and vegetables.-
Dashain though is the main Hindu festival that is celebrated in Nepal, but most Nepalis do not know the many concepts and stories surrounding it. You can learn more about Dashain through its myths and facts, just as you can learn about nearly anything else. In addition, the information can be used as a conversation starter.
Here is first of six Dashain festival facts
Read Also: Dashain Ashirwad and Mantra
Men’s and women’s tika mantras differ
Some families still chant mantras while tika is applied to family members (and some do so today). In this way, the mantra bestowed blessings on those who heard it. Women’s Dashain tika mantras are primarily a tribute to the nine manifestations of Goddess Durga, a symbol of feminine power. Hindu philosophers believe that the mantra for men bestows nine heroic characteristics upon the receiver, leading to victory, strength, integrity, honour, virtue, and wealth. It is commonly believed that gods and goddesses are equally powerful in Hindu mythology.
The Kumari and Ganesha Pujas occur during the Dashain function
Young kids of the Newar community are considered deities, especially during Navaratri, as they embody purity and holiness and therefore possess God within themselves. For young girls who have not undergone both the traditional Bel Bibaha (wedding with a wood apple) and Gufa (wedding with the sun) rituals, the Kumari puja is a good option. Children who do not undergo the Bratabandha ritual are also worshipped as manifestations of Ganesha. Elders offer flowers to their children worshipping Kumari and Ganesha during the Kumari and Ganesha puja. Children then touch the elders’ feet as a sign of respect and wish them good health and long life. Gifts and money are given to the children in return.
Historically, Dashain was observed four times a year
In autumn, winter, spring, and summer, the ancient Hindus celebrated Dashain four times a year. Over time, people could not enjoy this great festival year after year due to their busy schedules or their financial situation. Farmers who constituted most of the Nepali population in those days waited for harvests during Sharadiya Dashain (Dashain of the autumn season). The water in the rivers was also low during this time. Therefore, no one had to abandon their work for the sake of visiting family far away – and without risking their lives. Dashain celebrated in winter (Hemantik Dashain) and summer (Grishma Dashain) are no longer observed, but Dashain celebrated in spring (Basantik Dashain) is now named Chaite Dashain.
Dashain has been relocated to Asoj from Chaitra
Chaitra was initially the time of the Dashain celebration. In addition, Chaitra’s hot climate meant food could not be stored long, so it was moved to Asoj. Food contaminated with bacteria resulted in all sorts of digestive problems and illnesses. As Dashain was essentially a feasting holiday, this dampened celebrations. In response, people decided to move it to Asoj during the warmest part of the year, when food would stay fresh for longer.
Jamara is off-limits to unmarried women
Ghatasthapana, the first day of Dashain, plantation of Jamara takes place. In a family, either the woman or the man can do this. Restrictions imposed to female from visiting the Dashain Ghar (the room where the jamara placed). Its from the eighth day of Dashain (Asthami) to the tenth day (Bijaya Dashami). Due to the sacrifice of animals at the time of Asthami, devotees seek to please Kali, the Hindu deity of death, time, and oblivion.
One of the sacrifice weapons, Khukuri, thereafter cleaned, decorated, and then used inside the Dashain Ghar. There exists a rule where female forbid – specifically unmarried women – to enter the Dashain Ghar.
The sixths of the Dashain festival facts is
The Phulpati also represents Nepal’s unification
While most of us are aware of Phulpati’s role in Nepal’s unification, few know that it’s the seventh day of Dashain. As part of Phulpati, Dhading receives Navapatriva (a combination of nine plants representing nine Hindu deities). The person who carries it must swim across Budi Gandaki, following our tradition. As part of the tribute, the Nepal Army salutes the Phulpati with 21 guns firing. Additionally, there is an official parade to mark Phulpati’s arrival. Phulpati journey from Gorkha to Kathmandu symbolizes Nepal’s unification.
Dashain, the festival of togetherness and family, celebrated with much joy and rejoicing. The festival offers something for everyone – a vibrant mythological past, a feeling of solidarity through various rituals, or just knowing that family and friends are there to share the occasion. Family bonds strengthen through the tradition of getting tika from multiple relatives over the years. Getting tikas, which come with money gifts, is also a tempting prospect for youngsters. So, celebrate this 2021 Dashain festival with safety and precaution, as we still know COVID-19 exists.