With the monsoon at its end, the time of celebrations is here now. Dashain is unarguably the biggest of all festival in Nepal. Celebrated on the months of September or October, this grand festival starts from the first day of Ghatasthapana till Kojagrat Purnima. A total of 10-day refreshment undoubtedly makes Dashain the most awaited festival of all Nepalese. Moreover, Dashain is the only festival celebrated by every community group in Nepal which makes it even more special. The Protein filled festival is the time when every kind of dishes is made in households. This togetherness is what Dashain is all about. Furthermore, Government offices and private houses are also closed during the time of the festival.
Dashain has been and is the grandest Nepalese festival for various reasons. Below we have listed several bases which supports this claim.
Dashain has its religious backstory behind its celebrations. There are two myths behind the religious aspect. Goddess Durga severed Mahisasur, the demon who terrorised the whole world, so the Dashain is celebrated for the victory of good over evil. Another is the epic of Ramayana, where Bhagavan Ram (avatar of Vishnu) got victory over Ravan, the evil demon king of Lanka. This victory was only possible with the blessings of Goddess Durga. Thus, Dashain symbolises the triumph of virtue over evil.
Dashain is the festival where friends and families go over to each other’s house to put on Tika from their elders. The elders put on Tika and offer blessings along with Dakshina. The Dakshina in the form of money is the highlighting event for kids during the festival. Blessings on this day are believed to carry the immense power of every individual to go through the hardships for the upcoming days.
Meats, meats and lots of meats
Starting from the seventh day, families organise feasts until the 15th day of Dashain. That means food, food, and some more food. Albeit controversial, there is a tradition of sacrificing a goat to the goddess during the ninth day of the festival. So, that means the meat will be in abundance during Dashain. Even more, there will be so many other delicacies to choose from. I’m sure there will be enough feast for food and eyes as well. To be honest, Dashain is a protein filled festival where every day every delicacy of meat is consumed.
Best time for trekking
As a child, I remember being super-hyped about going to my parents’ village for Dashain. But now, like many youngsters, I knit travel plans during the Dashain holidays. That is because Dashain falls in autumn, and it is the best season for trekking in Nepal.
With monsoon ending and still some time left for winter, we couldn’t have asked for a perfect timing for trekking than this. The skies are clear, and the weather is just the right amount of warm. The mountain views are stunning, too.
Previously, autumn only witnessed thousands of foreigners trekking into the Himalayans. But, it is safe to say that now travelling and trekking has reaped a seed into every Nepali’s heart. That’s why you’ll see so many countrymen heading north during Dashain.
Sale, sale, and sale
Shopkeepers wait for Dashain sale. Customers wait for Dashain sale. You can say it is Nepal’s Black Friday. From clothing to mobiles to cars, everything is available at a discounted price. Heck, even house loans too. No, not kidding.
On top of that, businesses come with new schemes, lucky draws, and all kinds of bumper prizes too. There’s a good chance that you might win a ticket to Disneyland or ride a new car. If that’s not great, I don’t know what is!
Everyone celebrates it
In Nepal, you don’t necessarily have to be a Hindu to be excited about Dashain. Such is the atmosphere of Dashain, so contagious! Well, partly because of the big sales and long holidays. Irrespective of that, it is a pleasant experience to see everyone from all caste and creeds bonding over Dashain. It can even be taken as the epitome of Nepal’s exemplary religious harmony. Even though non-Hindus do not take part in religious ceremonies, they readily organize feasts, play cards, and make merry!