14th day of Dashain festival : As world knows that Dashain is the longest festival of Nepal which is celebrated for 15 days.
Religions and festivities in Nepal
Nepal, the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a country in South Asia. This small landlocked country is famous worldwide for the abundance of natural beauty worldwide, especially the mountains, including the world’s tallest mountain, Mount Everest, standing at 8848 M above sea level.
Apart from Nepal’s natural beauty, it is a country that is rich in ethnicity, culture, and tradition. The manor religion, followed by almost 80 percent of Nepalese, is Hinduism, followed by Buddhists, Muslims, and Kiratis. Similarly, a significant number of Nepalese people follow Christians. With the abundance of religions and culture, Nepalese celebrate various types of festivals. Each festival celebrates or commemorates any mythological or important historical moment.
A few of Nepal’s most popular festivals are Dashain, Deepawali, Holy, Krishna Janmasthami, Janai Purnima, Loshar, Christmas, Eid, and many more. One of the longest and highly celebrated festivals is none other than the Dashain Festival. Celebrated for about 15 days, the Dashain festival brings rejoice to Nepalese, and people take this festival to connect with the family and get refreshed.
Dashain Festival: Mythological background
Celebrated for about 15 days, Dashain is undoubtedly the most important and auspicious celebrations in Nepal. It is the festival that celebrates the legends of Goddess Durga, and various traditional rituals are performed for the 15 days in honor of Durga and her various manifestations.
As per ancient Hindu mythology, Dashain is celebrated after the victory of Goddess Durga over the devil Mahisasura. Goddess Durga defeated the devil after 9 days of intense battle.
On the 9th day, she claimed victory over the devil and provided freedom to the villagers whom the devil had been terrorizing. It is believed that since then, Dashain is being celebrated each year to remember this mythological event and to honor Goddess Durga. Similarly, this is the festival that celebrates the power of women.
Dashain in Nepal is very popular among the Newars as well. This festival is also called Mohani and is considered the most important festival as per Nepal Sambat Calander. Buddhists, as well as Hindu Newars, celebrate this festival. However, with slight differences in terms of rituals and interpretations.
The Dashain festival is taken as one of the means of family gathering and renew community ties. Newars’ celebration is highlighted even more by the very special dinner that is called Nakhtya.
Significance of each day of Dashain
Dashain is celebrated continuously for 15 days. However, a few days are more important than others. Ghatasthapana is the first day of Dashain that is very important as per Hindu mythology. On this day, household or temples create and place a special Kalash in the Puja room.
The Kalash or Pot is believed to be the representation of Goddess Durga. The family or temple priest starts the ritual by asking the Goddess to bless the pot with her virtual presence. The pot is then worshipped for the entire Dashain time.
Similarly, Nepalese have the tradition of planting barley seeds to get the holy grass called Jamara. The sacred grass is used on the tenth day of Dashain. Every household celebrates this festival plant the barley seeds to produce Jamara as it is one of the most indispensable parts of the entire festival.
Without planting Jamara and introducing Kalash at the Dashain Ghar, the rituals to be performed on the following days are not complete. Hence, the first day of Dashain, Ghatasthapana, is one of the most important days of the entire festival.
During Dashain, from the first day, 9 different avatars of Goddess Durga are worshipped. The nine forms of Goddess are; Goddess Shailaputri, Goddess Brahmacharini, Goddess Chandraghanta, Goddess Kushmanda, Goddess Skandamata, Goddess Katyayini, Goddess Kaalratri, Goddess Mahagauri, and Goddess Siddhidaatri.
The 9 days dedicated just for Durga Puja is called also called Navaratri. In various Indian states, Navratri is very popular and is auspiciously celebrated with different rituals, pujas accompanied by dancing, singing. The Navratri celebrations last for nine days.
In Nepal, too, the first nine days are called Navratri. Along with worshipping the forms of Goddess Durga, various other activities are performed in Nepal during the Dashain time, including playing cards, playing on the bamboo swings, sacrificing animals.
The celebrations lead up to the 10th day, which is the most important day of Dashain in Nepal. On this day, Nepalese put tika and Jamara from the family’s elders and take blessings from elders for long life and health. For this purpose, Nepalese worldwide travel back to the homeland for celebrating it with the loved ones at home. It is for this reason, Dashain is the celebration that joins the family together.
14th day of Dashain Festival
The 14th day of the Dashain festival is the second last day of the entire festival. However, the festivities are not completed. On the 14th day, Nepalese visit the extended family to get the blessings from elders along with Tika and Jamara. Since the 14th day is the second last day of the festival and holiday, people start returning to the workplace on the 14th day.
To make your final days of Dashain more interesting, you can get together with family and friends and have a quiet time with the family. Similarly, going for a short trip with family and enjoying would also be recommended.
All in all, Dashain is the festival that celebrates the legends of Goddess Durga and is worshipped by everyone during the festival. Traditional rituals and pujas and various activities like visiting temples, playing cards, flying kites, and going on long vacations make this festival even more special.
Dashain 2077 is around the corner. It is starting from the 26th of October, so here’s wishing everyone a pleased Dashain. Enjoy and be safe!