In Nepal, Dashain is the most celebrated festival. Before the celebration is in full swing, there is the monsoon season heat, high humidity, heavy evening clouds, torrential rain, thick green foliage, deep puddles, long thick grasses, and the unmistakable smell of moist soil. The rain that falls between June and September floods the country’s fields, ensuring a good harvest later on.
Nepali celebrate Dashain festival 2021 in the autumn fall, i.e., in October. A two-week celebration of prayers and offerings to Durga, the Universal Mother Goddess of Nepal, is the longest Hindu festival in the country. As Nepal’s great harvest festival, Dashain is a time for family reunions, exchanging gifts and blessings, and performing elaborate rites.
However, this year the extended lockdown in Australia has somewhat squeezed in the celebration mood of the Nepalese. Apart from the evening get-togethers, every Nepalese residing in the NSW territory is bound to stay indoors and celebrate the functions with fewer people. We can say that no party, no get-togethers, no family reunion, no overseas and interstate travel. There are restrictions everywhere, so can we say this Dashain 2021 is depressing for the Nepalese residing in Australia?
Well, that might not be the case! Remember your days when life was busy with no family time. This Dashain, you have ample time to spend with your families, you have time to spend on yourself and revive your hobbies, so, why not get hold of the unaccomplished desires you once longed for.
So, before getting disheartened, scroll your dos and don’ts and get started. If you have no clue on what to do in this Dashain 2021, well, let us give you a quick idea of how you can make this Dashain festival 2021 a memorable one.
#1. Learn about Dashain Tradition and Puja Bidhi
The whole idea of learning the mantras and puja rituals can be a good one! As we have been celebrating the festival for more than a decade, we are unaware of the rooted history and the practices. We take up the shortcut approaches during our busy days to celebrate the festivals. Along with us, our children forget the traditions practiced in Nepal during the Dashain festival.
So, why not connect with the traditions and resonate with the rituals followed by our ancestors in Nepal. It can indeed be excellent learning to our children about the Nepalese culture and puja rituals. You can start from Ghatasthapana itself. Jointly plant the Jamaras, recite the mantras, and worship lord Durga till the end of Dashain. It can be very new and good learning for your children and you as well.
However, if you are unmarried and live with your friends in Australia, there is no harm in following it. Cultural diversity is always positively accepted everywhere. If your friends are from other countries or different communities of Nepal, infuse the diversity.
#2. Learn and try cooking goat meat and its varieties
“Masu” the term itself is so favorable, especially for the Nepalese people like us, who adjacently think that Dashain = Masu (Goat Meat). You can learn new recipes from Youtube or scroll our page for the latest goat meat recipes for a change. You can make varieties from the goat meat; one of the most popular is Goat meat curry, which gets savored throughout the Dashain festival, the other one is Bhutan Chiura and Sekuwa. Dashain is incomplete without Goat meat, so learn one during this lockdown. Feast yourself and your companions around you!
#3. Video call and talk with back home relatives
Work-life has always kept us busy and away from our family members in Australia and back home in Nepal. It is an excellent time to freshen up the forgotten bonds. Remember the days of the celebrations with your families back in Nepal. Connect with every individual in Nepal and seek your elders’ blessings (if not physical) virtually. Share those loving bonds you had with your siblings, and don’t forget to connect with them. This year most of your relatives and close families may be suffering financially and COVID-19, do not hesitate to offer help. Your 100 dollars could be life-changing for them. (click to know more on how you can send money to Nepal)
#4. Give more time to family/less for NRNA and back home politics
Yes, politics continues for eternity, but the time which you have today will never revert. Make this time a special one for family re-bonding. Don’t spend it haywire indulging in politics. Once the lockdown gets lifted, you will have ample time to get hold of it again but not with your family. Remember those days when the working hours were well long enough to make you exhausted, refraining you from quality family time.
Prepare an activity schedule for your children or with the rest of the family members. Together, you can do gardening and prepare a delicacy (such as momo) where all the family participation is a must, enjoy a ‘historical movie’ or any genre.
#5. Teach kids about Nepalese tradition
Your grandparents have taught you the traditions; now it’s your time to teach your KIDS. Teach them the family values and practices, share the historical adventure of the festival, together with watch the popular series of “Ramayan” and “Mahabharat.” If possible, you can also prepare a bamboo swing in your compound for your children to enjoy the festival or give them a kite flying lesson. There is a lot for you to share with your children, and we believe Dashain 2021 is the right time for you to go ahead with it.
#6. Go with all Dashain fairy tales
The festival of Dashain gets swarmed with several fairy tales. Apart from the Mahisasur assassination by Lord Durga, there are more of it. The newar community has its stories; Tharu, Limbu, Gurung, Marwari have theirs.
Also, discuss why the Ghatasthapana event is essential. With the plantation of Jamara, the Dashain Ghar, Fulpati paraded from Gorkha, dictate the living Goddess Kumari, the historical palaces and events from the Malla, Rana, and Shah regime. Share the best wonders of Nepal, the heritages, and their importance, along with the beliefs practiced in the Nepalese community.
Share or demonstrate the back days photographs of the Dashain festival. The traditional dance performances, instruments, and songs of Dashain festivals, we are sure it can get interesting for your children.
Once upon a time, we had no time for ourselves and our family; now we have, so why not make the most out of it before it slips away. This Dashain, make the best out of the festival’s spirit, bring back that old festivity, and pass on to your children and beloved around you. From kite flying to preparing lavish mutton delicacies, from traditional dancing to historical movies, many activities are waiting to keep you busy at the same time close with your family members. However, if you have any other ideas from the above ones, mention them in the comment section below!