Dashain is the most important holiday of the year in Nepal and Bhutan for Buddhists and Hindus, celebrated in September-October after the rice harvest and lasting 15 days. Locals look forward to these dates, and tourists buy tickets to go on a trip to see the religious holiday with their own eyes. If you also want to be part of it, read on!
Dashain has its roots in the Hindu mythology, symbolizing the battle between good and evil – the Goddess Durga with the demon Mahishasura or the killing of the demon king by Rama Ravana with the blessing of Durga. During the festival, family members from all over the world come together to meet and strengthen their family ties.
In India, many people live in poverty. During the festival, these people can taste meat for the only time in a year and get new clothes. It is a tradition that brings joy and hope to many.
How to take part
- On the first day, a Kalash pot filled with holy water is installed in a separate room for rituals, and grains of rice or barley are laid in it, which will rise in a week to symbolize a good harvest for the next year.
- On the seventh day, the main part of the festival begins with a procession of the Kalash pot through the city accompanied by music.
- The eighth day is the day of fasting. Sacrifices of cattle and small cattle, as well as ducks and chickens, are made in the temple of the goddess. Prasada is prepared from their meat, which is blessed by the gods, providing prosperity in the family.
- The sacrifices continue on the ninth day. Many people with their whole families go to temples to pray to the goddess Teleju.
- On the tenth day, the women prepare a mixture of yogurt, rice and the red pigment of cinnabar (vermilion) and apply it on the forehead of the youngest for 5 days. This is believed to bring them wealth and prosperity next year.
- On the fifteenth day, it is not customary to sleep, so as not to miss the blessing of the goddess of wealth Lakshmi.
When is Dashain celebrated in 2023?