The third day of Dashain festival of Nepal :- Dashain festival, also known as the Navaratri is one of the most auspicious festivals of all people around the world following Hindusim. Though Hinduism has different festivals when various deities are worshipped, during Dashain or Navratri Goddess Durga or Durga Bhawani is worshipped for consecutive 15 days in Nepal. The celebration of joy, fun, love and spiritual enhancement is also associated with attaining ultimate prosperity, happiness, strength, glory, knowledge, good fortune and wisdom.
In Nepal, Dashain is celebrated for 15 consecutive days and is also considered as the national festival. Starting from the Ashwin Sukla Pratipada, Dashain is celebrated until the Kojagrat Purnima (Full Moon). For 15 days, Nepalese and Hindus all around the world get together and celebrate this festival with lots of joy and enthusiasm.
Dashain also celebrates the power of women. According to the Hindu mythology, in Satya Yug, there was a battle between the gods and evil demons and in this battle between the gods and evil Mahisasura, the evil defeated gods multiple times.
After that, the Goddess Durga created with the light of all the gods. Goddess Durga, created with 18 hands, finally killed Mahishasur and freed all gods as well as humans from the unfairness of the demons. Hence, this festival is being celebrated to remind the victory of good over evil. Most importantly, it celebrates the power of the female.
The Dashain of 2022 AD or 2079 BS is just a few weeks away. It is starting from 1st of Karthik and is being auspiciously celebrated Kartik 15. Likewise, as per Gregorian Colander, the festival is going to start from October 17, 2022. Though Dashain is a few weeks away, the festival fever is already high on Nepalese people. The markets are all open despite the current pandemic situation, and people are enthralled and looking forward to celebrating the festival with lots of joy.
Dashain in Nepal is celebrated for 15 days, and each day has different importance and celebrations practices. The worshipping of Durga Bhawani starts from the first day, which is called the Ghatasthapana. On this day. Nepalese do the rituals of welcoming Goddess Durga at the homes.
For this, Ghata or Kalash is placed in the prayer room. This Ghata is believed to represent Goddess Durga herself. As Ghata symbolizes goddess, it is worshipped and established in the prayer room by chanting the ancient mantra by the priest.
Similarly, on this day, barley, as well as corn seeds, are sowed to yield the barley grass (sprouted barley) that we call Jamara. This jamara is used on the 10 days of Dashain. Hindus generally believe that jamara is one of the favourite plants of Goddess Durga. Hence, followers offer this plant to make goddess happy.
Second, on the second day of the Dashain, the male member of the family or the priest recite the Chandi Mantra in the Ghatasthapana room or the Pooja room where the Kalash is kept. Chandi Mantra is recited to invoke goddess Durga Bhawani. Similarly, on this day, Brahmacharini, one of the incarnations of Durga Bhawani is worshipped.
During Dashain, starting from the first day, nine different forms of Goddess— Goddess Shailaputri, Goddess Brahmacharini, Goddess Chandraghanta, Goddess Kushmanda, Goddess Skandamata, Goddess Katyayini, Goddess Kaalratri, Goddess Mahagauri and Goddess Siddhidaatri — are worshipped. These nine days dedicated to Durga Puja is called Navaratri.
On the third day of the Dashain festival, various ritual practices, as well as entertainment activities, are performed. Below are a few of the activities that are done on the 3rd day of the Dashain.
Goddess Durga Mata
Durga, the Goddess of power and Shakti, is seen as the most powerful among all the Goddesses, and she has been the most worshiped in Hindus for many thousands of years. Durga is the most important deity in all of South Asian countries. These deities have their respective places of worship where they are revered.
For all these gods, Durga’s worship is the same. The devotees make offerings to the temples, make a lot of offerings to the priests, worship Durga by offering flowers and other Prasad to her, use her image on the idols of Gods and pray to her to grant them a rich harvest. Durga is considered to be the most powerful, intelligent and beautiful Goddess. There is a great deal of mystery associated with Durga that her devotees cannot understand, hence they have been trying to make her more accessible to the devotees.
The divinity of the divinity remains unchanged. There are only slight variations in the avatar. The main differences are in the dress style, the hairstyle and the attire. The followers can choose a suitable avatar which will make them feel and look happy. The dress code is different according to the place of worship of the divinity.
Durga Maa has a very strong connection with the people of the south Asian countries. The followers of this divinity have a special feeling about this God; this feeling is reflected in their prayers and offerings. The main reason for this is that she has an influential association with the south.
She is seen as the most powerful, intelligent, beautiful and divine Goddess. The followers worship the Goddess Durga and feel very close to her. She is considered to be the embodiment of love and compassion. They have a deep belief that she will always listen to devotees’s problems and their worries.
She is perceived to be the divine essence of love and compassion. Her divinity is seen to be above all human qualities. She is perceived to be the ultimate source of strength and protection. She is believed to have all positive energies surrounding her, and she will always make them feel complete and happy. The divine power of this divinity makes the followers feel that they can be safe in this world and will never go wrong in their lives.
Worshipping Goddess Chandraghanta: On the third day of Dashain, i.e. Tritiya, the worship of Chandraghanta is conducted. The name Chandraghanta has resulted from the fact that after getting married to Lord Shiva, Goddess Parvati decorated her forehead with the Ardhachandra, which means half-moon. Chandraghata is the personification of beauty and represents bravery. Yellow colour represents this day.
Those who celebrate Navratri, worship Chandraghanta on this day. Even in Nepal where Dashain is one of the ways of celebrating or commorating Goddess Durga, on the third day Chandraghanta is worshipped. As with the other days of Dashain, third day or Tirtiya also starts with the worshipping of Durga Bhawani.
Third Day of Dashain festival of Nepal
- Reciting Chandi Mantra:
“Yaa Devi Sarvabhutesu Shakti Rupena Samsthitaa Namas Tasyai Namas Tasyai NamasTasyai Namo Namah”
“To that Devi who in all beings is unceasing in the form of Power, salutations to her, salutations to her, salutations to her, salutations again and again.”
The above mentioned verse is from Chandi, a religious book or mantra that is recited for Goddess Durga during the Dashain festival. After the first day that is Ghatasthapana, each day, Chandi Path (Recitation of Chandi) is performed for Goddesse’s Worship at home or various temples of Goddess Durga.
In Kathmandu, various temples like Shova Bhagawati, Bhadrakali, Guheshwari, Chamunda, Bangalamukhi and many more are dedicated to Goddess Durga and Chandi mantra is recited in every temple.
- Visit temples
Visiting different temples where Goddess Durga is believed to reside in her various incarnations or forms is one of the most important aspects of Dashain. On the third day of the Dashain, you can visit the Durga temple nearby and offer your prayers to her and also celebrate the power of women. If you are in Kathmandu, you can go to different temples like Bhadrakali, Guheshwari or any other temples near you.
- Flying Kites
Various other entertainment activities are performed in the Dashain. Flying Kites is one of the most vital actions that is performed in Nepal only during the Dashain. During this period, under the clear blue sky, hundreds of colourful kites can be seen. Mostly kids get thrilled to flying kites. Some kids start flying kites months before the Dashain as well.
As much thrilling it is to fly kits, flying kites also has a symbolic message. One of the significant reasons behind flying kites is that flying kites send a message to the god of rain, God Indra, not to rain anymore. It is believed that the plants get withered if the rain falls continuously during the month of Ashoj. Hence, as a symbol or message to the God Indra to stop the rain, kites are flown over the sky.
Hence, on the third day of the Dashain, if you are not occupied otherwise, why not try to fly a kite. I am sure it will be a thrilling experience if you are new to flying kites. Make sure you are safe while flying kites from the balcony of your homes.
- Playing Cards
While playing cards is illegal in some places. During Dashain, there is a trend of playing cards with friends and family members. All the members of the family get together and play the poker game for fun and excitement. Though heavy gambling is not played at home, simple card games can make the day even more exciting.
Dashain is also the festival of shopping. The market place gets crowed with the shopaholics. During Dashain, kids, as well as adults, are gifted new clothes to wear on the day of Vijaya Dashami. Shopping is and has always been one of the main attraction of the Dashain. On the third day, you can go for shopping in the markets and buy clothes, kitchen items, prayer items and many more. Different shops also provide the “Dashain Discount Offer” to attract customers.
- Going for Vacation
Dashain is a time when the students, as well as the professional workers, are given holiday. Hence, it is the best time for an extended vacation. Even if you cannot go for an extended vacation, you can go on a hike during Dashain. Particularly on the third day when there are no other obligations, you can go to a place far from home and get some fresh air and enjoy the day forgetting the daily routine.
Apart from this, you can also celebrate this day by cooking different types of Cuisines. Basically, during Dashain, different types of Roti (Sel roti, fini roti) are made. On this day, you can opt for preparing food and enjoy at home with friends and family.
Hence, Dashain is the festival of love, fun, playing kites, playing poker and remembering the power of women as the power of good over the evil. During the 15 days long festival, you can enjoy it in different ways.
This year’s Dashain festival is not going to be the same as it used to be in the past years. With the cases of COVID-19 patients all-time high in Nepal, the devotees as well as all Hindus celebrating Dashain needs to be careful at all times.
While in the crowd or while going for shopping or on vacation, everyone must be cautious and keep the masks and hand sanitizers at all times. Always remember that health comes first. So, make sure that you are still safe while celebrating this festival.
Happy Dashain 2079 to everyone out there. Be safe!