Print Edition - 2018-10-11 | Oped
Let goodness prevail
Oct 11, 2018-
Dashain is a Hindu festival celebrated by the Nepali community across the world. It is Nepal’s longest festival, and this year it falls in mid-October. During Dashain, the Nepali people rejoice and celebrate as family members unite across the nation and worldwide. Each year, Dashain represents an atmosphere of joyous festivities.
Dashain is a 15-day festival. Dashain commences with Ghatasthapana during which maize and barley seeds are planted in a mixture of sand and soil. They grow into slender, yellow grass known as ‘jamara’ that are to be used during Dashami. The seventh day of Dashain is Phulpati when there is an official celebration at the Tundikhel parade ground. A Phulpati parade is taken from Tundikhel to the presidential residence. The eighth day is Maha Astami which is dedicated to worshipping the fiery Goddess Durga. On this day, goats, ducks, hens and buffaloes are sacrificed in temples to appease Goddess Durga. The next day is Maha Navami on which day the god of creation, Vishwakarma, is worshipped. On this day, people worship their vehicles and heavy machinery. Additionally, the Taleju temple is opened to the public only on the day of Maha Navami.
On Dashami, the 10th day of Dashain, ‘tika’ is prepared with a mixture of vermilion, rice and yogurt. At the auspicious time declared by astrologers, elders put tika and jamara on the younger family members and relatives. Also, elders give ‘dakshina’ or gifts of money along with their blessings. The day of Dashami sees people adorned with red tika on their foreheads and jamara tucked behind their ears or stuck into their hair. People welcome or visit their relatives to receive or give tika along with blessings and dakshina. Dashain concludes on the 15th day.
Dashain represents sacred blessings, love, reverence and good faith. Dashain is when familial bonds are rekindled. It is a reprieve from work and educational institutes, and a time for jubilant celebrations with our loved ones. Dashain is playing on swings with the cool air splashing across the face. It is flying kites in the open air. It is shopping for new clothes and making the most of the festive discounts at supermarkets. It means delicious homemade foods and sweets.
Dashain is a symbol of victory of good over evil, of victory of Lord Ram over the evil king Ravan. It is also a celebration of Goddess Durga’s victory over the demon Mahishasura after a nine-day battle. Thus, Dashain represents peace and prosperity among fellow countrymen.
Dashain is a long held tradition passed from one generation to another. I have joyful memories of Dashain and enthusiastically look forward to this auspicious festival each year. Every year during Dashain, new memories are created, love is renewed and blessings are given and received, establishing Dashain as one of the auspicious festivals of Nepal. Happy Dashain!
Published: 11-10-2018 07:57