Festivals Dashain ProfessionalNov 2nd, 2023 at 16:40 Blogs Kathmandu 212 views Reference: 861
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Dashain, often referred to as "Vijaya Dashami," is the most significant and widely celebrated festival in Nepal. It holds deep cultural, religious, and social importance for the Nepali people, and its joyous festivities span over fifteen days. Dashain typically falls in September or October, depending on the lunar calendar. Let's explore the various aspects of this iconic festival:
1. Religious Significance:
Dashain is a Hindu festival that commemorates the victory of the goddess Durga over the demon Mahishasura, symbolizing the triumph of good over evil. Each day of Dashain holds unique religious significance, with the pinnacle being the ninth day, known as "Nawami," and the tenth day, "Vijaya Dashami," when the goddess Durga is worshipped.
2. Family Reunions and Traditions:
Dashain is a time for families to come together and celebrate. People return to their hometowns to be with their families during this festival. Elders give blessings to younger family members by applying tika (a mixture of yogurt, rice, and vermilion) on their foreheads and giving them jamara (barley grass) as a symbol of good fortune and prosperity.
3. Animal Sacrifice:
An essential aspect of Dashain is the ritual animal sacrifice, particularly of male goats, which represents the symbolic sacrifice of evil. The practice, although controversial, is deeply ingrained in traditional rituals and is performed to honor the goddess Durga.
4. Symbolic Cleansing:
Dashain is a time of purification and renewal. People clean and decorate their homes, wear new clothes, and participate in various religious ceremonies to cleanse themselves spiritually and symbolize the triumph of purity over impurity.
5. Delicious Cuisine:
Food plays a central role in Dashain celebrations. Families prepare and share delicious feasts, which include a variety of traditional Nepali dishes. The festive atmosphere is enhanced by the aroma of mouth-watering delicacies prepared for family gatherings.
6. Colorful Kites and Swings:
Flying kites is a popular activity during Dashain, especially among children and young adults. Colorful kites fill the sky, adding to the festive spirit. Swinging on wooden swings, called "ping," is another traditional pastime, especially in the rural areas.
7. Cultural Performances:
Dashain is a time of cultural performances, including traditional dances, music, and religious rituals. Various communities and organizations organize events that showcase Nepali culture and traditions.
8. Social Unity:
Dashain fosters a sense of unity and bonding among Nepali people, regardless of their caste, ethnicity, or background. It's a time when people come together to celebrate their shared cultural heritage and strengthen social ties.
Dashain's vibrant celebrations, religious significance, and focus on family and unity make it an integral part of Nepali culture, creating an atmosphere of joy and togetherness throughout the country.