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Dashain is undoubtedly the major festival in Nepal which is celebrated all over the country i.e. by almost all castes, creed. It is celebrated by Hindus to mark the victory of Rama ( mythical demigod also known as one of the many incarnation of Lord Vishnu) over Ravana ( cruel King of Lanka, present day Sri Lanka) and also victory of Durga ( fiercest Hindu goddess) over the demon. Suffice to say, Dashain is celebrated to signify the victory of good over evil.
Popularly known as Vijaya Dashami, a 10 days celebration which signifies the days taken by Durga to kill the demon and Rama, the Ravana, every days are celebrated in their unique way. Devotees visit different Durga temple to offer her with the gifts and extravaganzas while some others prefer fasting. Following are the important days of Dashain.
The first day of Vijay Dashami is called Ghatasthapana,well, it’s a ritual when the eldest of the home prepares Jamara ( saplings of wheat and oat on the sand) which will be offered on the tenth day, also known as Dashami, to the sons, daughter in laws, nephews, and all other relatives.
Seventh day of Dashain is called Fulpati. Fulpati, literally refers to flowers and leaves but actually there are nine different ingredients in it such as Banana plant, turmeric, Flower, Pomegranate, Rice stalk and so forth. In nepal, during this day, there’s a century long tradition of bring Fulpati from the House of Gorkha ( origination of Shah dynasty) to Hanuman Dhoka Durbar.
Eighth Day is popularly known as Maha Ashtami when goats and buffaloes are sacrificed for goddess Durga. There’s popular held belief that this ritual makes the goddess happy.
Tenth day, also known as Vijayadashami is the most auspicious day. During this day, elder of the family offers the jamara, which grows to decent size along with tika ( rice grains mixed with crimson powder) is offered to his/her descendents and the relatives. Elders also grant the blessings along with tika, so that relatives utilize five more days after vijayadashami going to different relatives.
(cover photo courtesy of Tejaswee.shrestha)