11th day of Dashain :- Dashain is the lengthiest and the most propitious festival of Hindus in Nepal. Along with Hindus, some Buddhists also join the merriment of this festival. Goddess Durga is worshiped in all her different manifestations throughout the festival. Moreover, this festival is celebrated commemorating the conquest of the good over the demons.
In Nepal, Dashain is celebrated for 15 days. It starts from the first day of Ghatasthapana and ends on the full moon day, also called Purnima. Over the fifteen days of the festival, various manifestations of Goddess Durga are worshipped and all activities performed are directed to honoring the goddess for her blessings to the world.
Dashain is one of the numerous celebrations commended for a very long time in Nepal and other Asian nations. Individuals didn’t begin praising this celebration in vain. This celebration remembers one of the most significant mythological periods.
According to Hindu legendary saying, Dashain is being commended since the Sayta Yug (Truth Era). In this period, it is accepted that there was an enormous fight between the great and malevolence. Malicious evil presence Mahisasuara began threatening the whole town or world, and stopping the insidious, all the divine beings assembled and battled.
Nonetheless, despite all the God’s endeavors, Mahisusra claimed victory. Thus, all the divine beings made Goddess Durga with their light. Goddess Durga continually battled with the Devil. The battle went on for 9 successive days, and on a ninth day, Goddess Durga or Durga Bhawani vanquished the evil presence liberating residents from his fear. From that point forward, individuals have been praising this celebration to recognize the intensity of goddess Durga, her nine appearances, and ladies’ intensity as a rule.
Ghatasthapana is the first day of the festival, and on this day, a pot or Kalash, which symbolizes Goddess Durga, is placed in the puja room or temples. It is believed that the goddess Durga resides in this vessel or Kalash during the Navratri. This Kalash is worshipped for the 15 days of the Dashain Festival.
The plantation of Jamra is one of the most important aspects of the Dashain festival in Nepal. Jamara is nothing but the grass that emerges out of barley seeds once it germinates. However, Jamara has a lot of religious and cultural importance. On the 1st day of Dashain, Ghatasthapana, barley seeds are spread in the clay to produce the barley grass called Jamara.
From the first day of Dashain, the celebrations start. Over the next 6 days, people engage in various activities like Durga Puja, going on vacation, visiting relatives, playing cards, flying kites, and many more.
Nepal, formerly known as the Federation of Nepal, is an independent nation in South Asia. It is located in the foothills of the Great Himalayas and bordered by India and China. It is one of the world’s most densely populated countries and has an annual per capita income very low.
Nepal is primarily divided into 3 geographical regions: Terai, Hilly, and Himalayas. The most populated region, the Terai region, is divided into several districts and has a half population.
Nepal has several major cities, including Kathmandu, Pokhara, Biratnagar, Janakpur, Birgunj, Nepalgunj, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur, Dharan, Ghorahi, Butwal, etc. The southern parts of Nepal are home to most of its people, whereas the Central region has a higher level of urbanization. The northern regions, especially the mountains like Mount Everest, Mt. Kanchenjunga, and Langtang, are more rural than the central region.
Nepal is of several different languages; the language spoken by most of its people is Nepali. Nepali is the official language, which is widely used and understood.
The economy of Nepal is based on agriculture and livestock. This is one of the world’s most stable sectors, especially in the past few decades. The government of Nepal provides support to farmers to increase the productivity of their agricultural products. The government also offers loans to stimulate rural development.
In terms of geography, Nepal is bordered by India and China.
The central part of Nepal is home to Kathmandu’s capital city and has a relatively large population. The Northern part of the country has many hill stations, where there is plenty of natural beauty and untouched landscapes.
The Kathmandu valley has been the base of operations for several political parties, including Nepal’s current government. Several national and international organizations are based in the city. The country has been divided into many districts for better management of resources and development of infrastructure.
Nepal is a landlocked country, with its capital situated at the northern end of the Great Himalayas. This is the reason why many of its people have migrated to other countries. Since its discovery, Nepal has experienced rapid expansion, with the people now having access to new lands worldwide.
11th day of Dashain : Receiving Tika from Elders continues
From the 10th day of Dashain, Vijaya Dashami, people worldwide visit their relatives and receive Tika from elders. On the 11th day, too, receiving the tika and jamara from the elders continues. On this day, people visit their relatives far from home to take the blessings from them.
Tika and jamara play a vital role in Dashain celebrations. For all Nepalese, without receiving the tika and jamara from elders, the festival goes lifeless.
Tika is a combination of red vermillion dust, yogurt, and rice. The tradition or ritual of receiving Tika from the elders starts from the 10th day Vijaya Dashami and continues for the next 5 days. In the same way, Jamara is the sprouted barley. Elders of the family put the Tika on the forehead of the family’s younger members and give them blessings of good fortune and long health. Tika, along with the beautiful jamara or the sprouted barley, makes it look as well as feel fantastic during the Dashain.
According to the Vedic calendar, the 11th day of Dashain is the Ekadashi or the eleventh lunar tithi. In Nepal and India, Ekadashi is considered a holy day to cleanse the human body and rejuvenate and is often observed by complete or partial fast.
The day following the Dashami, people celebrate Ekadashi by fasting, where people consume only carbohydrates and protein-containing foods like grains, beans, fruits, and milk products. Rice and, most importantly, any kind of meat products are not eaten on Dashain’s 11th day.
On the 11th day of the festival, the celebrations continue. People from abroad also visit their motherland during this festival to have fun and rejuvenate themselves in their own country. Many people flock to their motherland during this festival, and hence it has become one of the significant occasion of family reunion in the country.
On the 11th day of the festival, the schools, colleges, government, and private institutions or offices remain closed. The government has declared a national holiday this year, too, for people to have fun with friends and family. Hence, those who complete the ritual of taking tika and jamara from the elders on the 10th day of Dashain can opt for other activities on the festival’s 11th day.
One can look forward to going on short trips, fly kites, playing in the swings, and many more. No matter what is done, Dashain is the festival of colors, love, blessings, and fun. You can enjoy the festival with your loved ones.
Dashain 2077 is just a few weeks away, and hence Nepalese are well prepared to celebrate the festival with lots of fun and enthusiasm. However, things are not the same as it used to be. Due to the covid-19 pandemic, Dashain this year needs to be celebrated with lots of cautions.
Restricting visiting new places or crowded places can curb the spread of the virus. Hence, we recommend all enjoying the festival with the loved ones at home and limiting traveling this year. I am sure next year. So, happy Dashain 2077. Be careful, and enjoy it!