12th day of Dashain festival of Nepal :- Nepal, a small Himalayan country situated between two giant nations, India and China, is a country of diverse traditions, culture, and festivals. Nepalese celebrate a wide range of festivals each year in commemoration of a particular mythological event, and people do celebrate the festivals with immense zeal and love.
There are multiple festivals in Nepal. While few festivals are celebrated to endure oneself like Mah Puja, many festivals are celebrated in honor of various Hindu mythology gods and goddesses. Among various festivals, a few of the auspiciously celebrated festivals are Dashain, Tihar, Krishna Puja, Bhai Tika, Chhath, Janai Purnima, Nag Panchami, Loshar, Gai Jatra, Indra Jatra, Holy, Maghe Purnima, and many more. Each festival is unique and celebrated following different rituals, which makes the festivals even more appealing.
One of the most important and auspiciously celebrated festivals in Nepal is Dashain. Also known as Vijaya Dashami, it is the longest and highly anticipated festival by all Nepalese worldwide. With the end of the monsoon in Nepal, Dashain’s season starts bringing joy and excitement to all Nepalese.
Dashain in Nepal:
Dashain in Nepal is one of the most auspicious celebrations. This festival falls every year in September or October and is happily celebrated for fifteen days. According to the BS calendar, this year, Dashain is starting on the 1st of Kartik month and finishing on Kartik’s 15th. Similarly, according to the English Calander, this festival starts from 17th October 2020 and is celebrated for the next 15d days. The Hindu’s most fantastic festival Dashain is celebrated on the integrity of conquest of good over evil.
Though Dashain is celebrated for 15 days, 6 days are most important.
6 Major Days of Dashain Festival
Day 1: Ghatasthapana
The first day of Dashain is the Ghatasthapana. On this day, every household and temples place a pot or Kalash that represents Durga Goddess in the Puja room, also called Dashain Ghar. The pot is then worshipped for the next fifteen days. Similarly, on this day, the barley seeds are planted to get the six to seven inch long barley grass that is also called jamara. The jamara is used on the 10th day of the festival to bless the Youngers in the family.
Day 7: Phulpati
From the first day to the 6th day, various pujas are conducted in honor of Goddess Durga and her various manifestations. On the 7th day, especially in Nepal, there is the tradition of carrying 9 different types of leaves and flowers in the Puja Room. Hence it is called Phulpati.
The phulpati includes Banana Plant (In Nepali Kera Ko Bot), Pomegranate (Darim), Rice Stalk (Dhanko Bal, Turmeric, Manabriksha, Ginger Plant, Wood apple tree, Ashok and Jayanti.
The combination of these 9 ingredients is also called Navapatriva or phulpati. Phulpati or Navapatriva is used to decorate the puja room of every household. It is believed that bring Navapatriva home brings good fortune at home.
Day 8 : Maha Asthami
In Nepal, the 8th day of Dashain is celebrated by worshiping Goddess kali by sacrificing animals like buffaloes, hens, goats, and ducts in various temples nationwide. The blood of the sacrificed animal is offered to Goddess kali, as it is believed that blood symbolizes fertility. On this day, the Newar Community organizes an event called Khadga Puja, where the weapons are worshipped.
Day 9: Maha Navami
Maha Navami is the last day of Navaratri. On this day, in Nepal, official military sacrifices are held at Hanuman Dhoka Palace. Buffaloes are sacrificed at gunfire salutes. If you are in Kathmandu, the major attraction of this day is to visit the Taleju Temple, which is opened for the public only on Dashain’s 9th day. On this day, temples get filled with many devotees from around the city.
Day 10: Vijaya Dashami
It would not be wrong to say that the Vijaya Dashami is the most important day of the entire Dashain festival. On this day, the family elders put Tika and Jamara on the forehead of young family members or relatives and bless them for long life and prosperity. This day is of huge importance to each Nepalese. Nepalese worldwide visit their homeland or village to take blessings from elders and enjoy the festival with friends and family.
Day 15: Purnima
The Dashain festival comes to an end with the last day Kojagrat Purnima. On this day, Laxmi goddess, Goddess of wealth, is worshipped. With the worshipping of Goddess Laxmi, the celebration of the Dashain festival comes to an end.
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12th Day of Dashain: Its significance and rituals:
Dashain celebration continues in Nepal till the 15th day. On the 12th day, people flock to their distant relatives for taking tika and jamara from the elders. The ritual of taking tika and jamara from elders continues till the 15th day of Dashain, and on the 12th day, people go to their distant relatives for the rituals.
Similarly, on the 12th day, people start returning home from villages. After completing the Vijaya Dashami, people flock into the city for work or study from the 12th day.
Dashain Celebrations amidst COVID-19 Pandemic:
As we all know, the Covid 19 pandemic has taken over the world. Nepal is not free from the virus. The number of covid 19 patients has increased a lot over the few weeks and is expected to increase in the coming days. Hence, Dashain celebrations are likely to get impacted this year. We would recommend everyone to celebrate this festival with extra caution than ever before.
Be safe and enjoy the festival at home with friends and family rather than going for unnecessary shopping, visiting crowded temples, and going on vacation. Remember that everyone is at equal risk of contracting the virus. Hence be careful at each time and celebrate the festival with friends and family at home.
Enjoy and Happy Dashain 2077 to everyone!