Dashain – All About Dashain Festival Of Nepal


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Nine forms of goddess Durga:

Nava Durga – Nine important forms of goddess Durga. Especially worshiped on Dashain which falls in the month of Ashwin (Sept-October) for the destruction of evil and preservation of Dharma. Nine Durgas are Shailputri, Brahmacharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skandamata, Katyani, Kalaratri, Mahagauri and Siddhidhatri.

See also: Top 10 Dashain Kites Photos of Flying Kites in Dashain Festival in Nepal

According to the Devi Bhagavata, on the Ghatasthapana, the first day of the waxing moon of Ashwin according to the lunar calendar, one should worship the goddess Brahmayani with her mount white horse. Similarly, on the second day the goddess Maheshwari with her mount ox, Kumari with her mount peacock, Vaishnavi with her mount Garuda, Barahi with her mount Buffalo, Indrayani with her mount elephant, Mahalakshmi with the garlands of human heads, Mahalakshmi with her mount duck and Tr ipu sundart with her mount lion are worshipped respectively and respectfully.

Thus, Vijayadashami is a festival that honors eternal feminine energy in a unique manner. From the first day to the ninth, a girl child is worshiped as the manifestation of nine goddesses. According to the Allndi scripture, the mother goddess resides within every living being. She is the consciousness, eternal truth, memory, sense, power and the mother of all beings.

15 Days of Dashain

15 days of Dashain are as follows:

1st day: Ghatasthapana

2nd day: Ditiya

3rd day: Tritiya

4th day: Chaturthi

5th day: Panchami

6th day: Khasthi

7th day: Foolpati

8th day: Maha Ashtami

9th day: Maha Nawami

10th day: Vijayadashami

11th day: Ekadashi

12th day: Dwadashi

13th day: Triydashi

14th day: Chaturdashi

15th day: Kojagrat Purnima

Introduction to Dashain festival

Nepal is one of the most diverse countries in the world in terms of geography, religion, culture, and tradition. Though small in area, this country is home to the people various ethnic groups who have their own identity, culture, and traditions. Lots of festivals are celebrated in Nepal that represents the uniqueness of each religion and culture. One of such beautiful festivals that are celebrated by almost every Nepali people with utmost respect and enthusiasm is Dashain Festival.

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During the Month of September or October, the Nepali people indulge themselves in the biggest festival; Dashain Festival. This is one festival that is celebrated for 15 days making it one of the most auspicious as well as the longest festival of Nepal. One of the most auspicious and proud thing about this festival is that it is celebrated by all Nepalese regardless of creed and caste throughout the country. So much so that, all schools, colleges and government institutions remain closed during this ceremony to celebrate to the fullest.

Dashain represents the victory of the gods over the demons. One of such victory stories is told in the Ramayana. It is believed that Lord Ram, after lots of attempts finally became successful in slaughtering the Ravana, the king of Demons only after he evoked Goddess Durga. The main celebration of Dashain venerates the win of good evil over bad and is also symbolized by Durga, the Goddess who slew the demon Mahisasur who had terrorized the entire earth.

The first nine days of this festival is called Navaratri and the tenth day is called Dashami. Each day has its own uniqueness and the method of celebration is different.

Day 1: Ghatasthapana

The first day of Dashain is Ghatasthapan which marks the beginning of this holy festival. In a literal sense, Ghatasthapan means placing a pot of Kalash that symbolized placing Goddess Durga in the home. On this day, a pot (Kalash) is filled with water and later covered with cow dung and sewn with barley seeds. This Kalash is then put in a sand block. The priest that starts the holy ritual when he asks Durga for a blessing. Goddess Durga is believed to be in the pot of Kalash during entire Navaratri.

The Kalash is worshipped by Male family member twice a day, in the morning and evening. And it is believed that women are not allowed to enter the Puja Room. However, these days, women are equally responsible for worshipping and taking care of Kalash. This Kalash is usually kept away from sunlight and water is offered to it every day so that by the tenth day will have grown to almost six inches long yellow grass which is also known as Jamara. This process continues until the seventh day.

 

Day 7: Fulpati

The seventh day of 15-day long festival is called Fulpati. On this day, the Kalash that is filled with holy water, jamara, sugar cane and banana stalks are tied with red cloth and is carried by under a decorated umbrella.

On this day, 100s of government officials gather in Tundikhel ground in formal dress to witness the perfect event. During the regime of King, the fulpati was then taken to the HanaumanDhoka Royal Palace at the end of the occasion with a parade. However, since 2008 after the overthrow of a royal family, the fulpati is taken to the residence of the president. Fulpati is one of the most important days of the Dashain Festival.

Day 8: MahaAsthamii

The eighth day of Dashain is called MahaAsthami. This day is a day of the manifestation of Goddess Durga by the sacrifice of animals like goats, hens, ducks or buffaloes in the temple. On this day, most of the orthodox families of Nepal sacrifice the animal and the blood of the animal is offered to the goddess as it is referred to as the symbol of fertility. While the puja is conducted in the temples with the sacrifice of the animals, great feasts are held at home of common people where a large amount of goat meat consumed by every meat lovers.

Day 9: Nawami

The 9th day of the 15 Day Long Dashain festival is called Nawami. On this day, temples around the country of mother goddess Durga are completely filled with people from early morning till dusk. On this day as well, animals like black buffaloes and goats are slaughtered to honor goddess Durga on her manifestation as also for getting the blessings from her. One of the most interesting parts of this day is that military bands play war tunes while officers with decorated medals in uniform stand there to celebrate the festival.

On this day, apart from Goddess Durga, GodVishwa Karma, the God of creation is also worshiped. All factories, any machinery instruments, vehicles and anything that we use to make our living are worshipped. People also worship all moving machinery like aero planes, trucks, cars, bikes etc. to get the blessing from goddess for protection against accidents during the year. The entire day is spent with lots of fun and enthusiasm.

Day 10: Vijaya Dashami

The first 9 days of Dashain are known as Navratri. All goddess who emanated from mother goddess Durga is known as devis, each with different aspects and powers. Mother goddess is the source of life, power, Shakti, and everything.

The first day of Dashain is called Ghatasthapanaa, that means pot establishing. 10th day of dashain is the main day of the Dashain festival. 10th day of Dashain is called Vijayadashami. It is the day Lord Rama kills the Demon. It is the day Goddess Durga kills the demon Mahishashur. For that reason, Nepalese celebrate this festival as the day of victory of goodness over the evil. The sacred yellow grass is called ‘Jamara’ which is seeded on the first day of Dashain. Nepalese population received Dashain Tika on the forehead from the elders. It is bestowed by the elders atop the heads of those younger to them during the last five days when Dashain tika is put on. The jamara is taken as a token of Goddess Durga as well as the elders blessing.

The tenth day also the most important day of the 15-day long festival is ‘Dashami’. On the this auspicious day, Tika and Jamara are offered by the seniors to the Youngers of the family and give blessings for the good health, fortune, and luck for the year. Tika is usually prepared by the women of the family by a mixing rice, vermilion, and yogurt. Elders put tika and jamara(that is sown in the Ghatasthapana) on the forehead of younger relatives and give “Dakshina” (small amount of money) to Youngers at this time along with their blessings. This process of receiving the Tika and Jamara is continued to be observed for next five days till the full moon. This process or ritual of receiving tika from all the elder relatives definitely helps in the regeneration of the community ties greatly. It is one reason why the festival of Dasami or Dashaiis celebrated with so much of robustness and eagerness.

The tenth day of Dashain is the most important day when people visit their elders in the family in order to take their blessings from them for wellbeing and healthy life. While receiving this tika, there are few mantras/slokas that said to bless the person receiving the tika and jamara. These mantras or slokes have beautiful meanings that it is perfect for us to recite those while we put tika.

The mantra that is said while giving blessings to the males of the family is as below

“आयुर्द्रोणसुतेश्रियोदशरथेशत्रुक्षयंराघवे।
ऐश्वर्यनहुषेगतिश्चपवनेमानञ्चदुर्योधने॥
शौर्यशान्तनवेबलंहलधरेसत्यञ्चकुन्तीसुते॥

बिज्ञानेबिदुरेभवतिभवतामकिर्तिस्चनारायणे”

Similarly, the mantra that is used while giving blessings to the females of the family is as below:

“जयन्ती मङ्गला काली भद्रकाली कपालिनी ।
दुर्गा शिवा क्षमा धात्री स्वाहा स्वधा नमोऽस्तु ते ॥२॥“

These mantras are different for men and women, however, both have been recited since prehistoric era as these have been inscribed in our scriptures. All the characters of these mantras are from the Hindu scriptures of Mahabharat and Ramayana. In keeping with the Hindu beliefs, all of Hindus are expected to acquire the qualities of the Gods and Goddesses that we so respect. These mantras/slokas are narrated by Brahmin and Kshatriyas. But, these mantras can be said by people of any caste or social group. Those who celebrate Dashain and put Tika can say these mantras.

Written by

Jitendra Sahayogee

I am Jitendra Sahayogee, a Writer of 12 Nepali Books, Director of Maithili films, Founder of Radio Stations, Designer of Websites and Editor of Some Nepali Blogs.

One thought on “Dashain – All About Dashain Festival Of Nepal

  1. Can you send me a essay on dashain for grade 7 in nepali langauge i will be very thank full to u if u send it with in twomarrow

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