50 Interesting Facts About Dashain, Nepal's Biggest Festival

Dashain, also known as Vijaya Dashami, is the biggest and longest festival celebrated in Nepal. It holds great cultural and religious significance for both Hindus and Buddhists in Nepal and is celebrated with much fervor and enthusiasm. The festival is marked by various rituals and traditions that have been passed down through generations. In this article, we'll delve into 50 fascinating facts about Dashain and learn more about this colorful festival.

50 Fascinating Facts About Dashain, Nepal's Biggest Festival

50 Fascinating Facts About Dashain, Nepal's Biggest Festival

  • Dashain is the biggest and longest festival of Nepal.
  • It is also known as Vijaya Dashami.
  • Dashain is celebrated by both Hindus and Buddhists in Nepal, as well as in some parts of India, Bhutan, and Myanmar.
  • The festival falls in September or October and lasts for 15 days.
  • Dashain commemorates the victory of good over evil and the triumph of the goddess Durga over the demon Mahishasura.
  • The first nine days of the festival are known as Navaratri, which means "nine nights" in Sanskrit.
  • During Navaratri, various forms of the goddess Durga are worshipped.
  • The tenth day of the festival is called Vijaya Dashami, which means "victory on the tenth day" in Sanskrit.
  • Vijaya Dashami is considered the most important day of Dashain.
  • On Vijaya Dashami, people receive tika, a mixture of rice, yogurt, and vermillion, on their forehead from their elders as a blessing.
  • The tika represents the blessings of the gods and goddesses.
  • People also exchange gifts and sweets on Vijaya Dashami.
  • The festival is a time for family reunions and gatherings.
  • It is also a time for feasting and enjoying traditional Nepali cuisine.
  • Kites are flown during Dashain, especially on the tenth day.
  • In Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal, a large kite festival is held during Dashain.
  • The festival is also a time for animal sacrifices.
  • The animals sacrificed are usually goats, but sometimes buffaloes or other animals are also sacrificed.
  • The sacrificed animals are usually cooked and eaten as part of the feast.
  • Dashain is also a time for buying new clothes and household items.
  • Many businesses offer discounts and sales during the festival.
  • The festival is an important time for farmers, as it marks the end of the monsoon season and the beginning of the harvest season.
  • Farmers offer prayers to the goddess Durga for a good harvest.
  • The festival also marks the beginning of the trekking and tourism season in Nepal.
  • Many tourists visit Nepal during Dashain to experience the festival and the natural beauty of the country.
  • Dashain is believed to have originated during the reign of the Hindu king Ramchandra of Nepal in the 14th century.
  • The festival was initially a celebration of the victory of Ramchandra over a demon king named Ravana.
  • The festival has evolved over time to incorporate other myths and legends.
  • The goddess Durga is believed to have nine forms, each representing a different aspect of the divine feminine.
  • The festival celebrates the power and strength of the goddess Durga and the divine feminine.
  • The festival is also a time for giving back to the community and helping those in need.
  • Many people donate money, clothes, and food to the less fortunate during Dashain.
  • The festival is also celebrated by the Gurung, Magar, and Thakali ethnic groups of Nepal.
  • These groups have their own unique traditions and rituals for the festival.
  • The festival is also celebrated by the Nepali diaspora around the world.
  • Nepali communities in the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom hold their own Dashain celebrations.
  • The festival is an important part of Nepali cultural identity and heritage.
  • The Nepali government declared Dashain a national festival in 2008.
  • The festival is also an important part of the Hindu and Buddhist religious calendars.
  • The festival is celebrated with different rituals and traditions in different regions of Nepal.
  • In the Terai region, people celebrate the festival by erecting bamboo poles called 'sijara'.
  • The poles are decorated with colorful cloth and the festival is known as 'Sijara Purnima'.
  • In the Kathmandu Valley, people perform the 'Phulpati' ceremony on the seventh day of Dashain.
  • In this ceremony, a procession is carried out with flowers, fruits, and other items to the Hanuman Dhoka palace.
  • The Ghatasthapana ritual is performed on the first day of the festival.
  • In this ritual, a pot is filled with sand and barley seeds and a shoot is grown from it over the course of the festival.
  • The growing shoot is believed to represent the goddess Durga's power and strength.
  • The festival also includes the 'Kojagrat Purnima' celebration, which is the full moon day after Dashain.
  • On this day, people stay awake all night and light oil lamps to welcome the goddess Laxmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity.
  • The festival ends with the 'Tika' ceremony on the tenth day, after which people go back to their daily routines, taking with them the blessings and memories of Dashain.

Dashain is a festival that is steeped in tradition and has been celebrated for centuries in Nepal. From the rituals and traditions to the food, clothing, and customs, the festival is a reflection of the rich cultural heritage of Nepal. It is a time for family reunions, feasting, and celebrating the triumph of good over evil. As we have seen, there are many interesting facts and aspects of Dashain that make it a truly unique and special festival. Whether you are a Nepali or a visitor to Nepal, experiencing Dashain is a must and an experience that will stay with you for a lifetime.

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