Dashain (also pronounced as Dasain) is the longest and most celebrated festival in Nepal. Dashain has its different names. It is called Dasain, Vijaya Dashami or Mohani Nakha. The way of celebration and name differs, but most Nepali celebrates it for about 15 days with same zeal and enthusiasm.
Dashain is the celebration of victory of good over evil. This festival symbolize that good always prevail over bad.
Dashain has its own stories, importance and significance. It is regarded as victory of truth over the evil. Dashain is celebration of victory of good over bad. Dashain reminds us every year that the evil may be strong for a time; the truth and good will always prevail over it.
Every year we all Nepali, remember the message “Good always wins over the evil”, with the celebration of the great festival of Bada Dashain.
Dashain is just after the season of harvest. All the farmers are happy and most households are filled with rice and gains. The season is called Sarad Ritu, which is the most pleasant time in the year. The season itself is a celebration. People have lots of rice in home this time of year. Therefore people in some places have culture of putting tika of rice on the forehead. Some mix it with abir and make it red. Some do it white only with curd.
The rice and curd is used because, people have those things this season. To make it colorful, they
mixed it with abir. That became tika.
Nepali people, wherever they live, they try to reach home to see their family in Dashain. Take blessings from their elders and enjoy being with family forgetting all the trouble and worries.
There is a tradition of getting new cloths and having big feast in this festival. Family gathering is the most loved part of this festival. Swings made up of bamboo and coconut rope is swinging all across the nation. There is a tradition to swing at least once in this festival. People say if you leave the ground swinging in Dashain, the swing will take away ill feelings and replace it with new and rejuvenation inside oneself. Kite flying is another attraction for youth.
People all across the country worship Durga Bhawani and visit temples. It is called Nauratha visits. People wake up early in the morning and go to temples of Devi Durga. People perform musical programs and Ramlila in Madhesh and Terai region of Nepal. Nepal has its own music which symbolizes Dashain. The music is called Mal Shree Dhun.
On the tenth day, people put Prasad of victory. In hilly reasons people put tika from the hands of elders on their foreheads. In some places people make a dummy of Raman and burn it in tenth day with performance of Ram Lila. Celebration differs according to geographic structure but all celebrate the same festival with same zeal and enthusiasm.
This festival is known for emphasis on family gatherings, as well as on a renewal of community ties. People return from all parts of the world, as well as different parts of the country, to celebrate this festival together.
Dashain has 15 days celebration; however, following days are regarded as main days amongst them,
1st day Ghatasthapana (Pratipada)
7th day Fulpati (Saptami)
8th day Asthami
9th day Navami
10th Vijaya Dashami (main Dashain Day) - Dashain ko Tika
15th Kojagrat Purnima
The first day of this festival starts from Ghatasthapana. The "Dashain Ghar", or special worship room, is set up, to start pooja of Durga Bhawani. This room is used to plant barley called Jamara in Nepali and to worship the Astha-Matrikas (the 8 tantrik Goddesses) as well as the Nava Durgas (the 9 Goddess Durga) for remaining 9 days. (All these 9 days have their own importance in Dashain celebration). Barley is sowed in sand brought from river, and the barley is called Jamara when it is grown. These seeds will sprout in ten days. The sprouts, which symbolize a good harvest, will be decoratively placed on the heads of family members later on in the festival as a blessing.
Victory of Durga Mata over Mahishasur
Demons, or Asuras, became very powerful and ambitious and continually tried to defeat the Devas, or Gods, and capture Heaven. One Asura, Mahishasur, in the form of a bull, grew very powerful and created havoc on the earth. Asuras started defeating the Devas and chasing them away from the heaven. The world was crushed under Mahishasura's cruelty; the Devas put their energy together and form a Shakti, a single mass of incandescent energy, to kill Mahishasur.
A very powerful band of lightning emerged from the mouths of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva and a young, beautiful female virgin with ten hands appeared. All the Gods gave their powers and special weapons to her. This Shakti blended to form the goddess Durga. With her vehicle riding on a lion, Durga Bhawanu, fought Mahishasur. The battle raged for nine days and nights. Finally on the tenth day of Ashvin shukla paksha, Mahishasur was defeated and killed by Durga. This is the day of celebration.
Happy Dashain to All !!!