Dates : 19th – 28th Sept, 2009
Venue: All over Nepal
Dashain is Nepal’s biggest festival. It is celebrated for fifteen days starting from the new moon of the Nepali month of Asoj. Also known as Durga Puja or Dushera, this festival marks the victory of goddess Durga over the demon king Mahisasur, or the victory of good over evil.
Ghatasthapana (19th Sept,2009): Ghatasthapana is the first day of Dassein. On this day, people plant barley (jamara) in a vessel. Getting the seeds to sprout a few centimeters during Dasain ensures a good harvest. People visit temples dedicated to goddess Durga. Children fly kites and play on swings supported by long bamboo poles throughout the festival.
Fulpati (25th Sept,2009): It is the seventh day of Dassein. On Fulpati, sacred flowers are brought to Hanuman Dhoka Palace from Gorkha, the royal seat of the Shah Kings.
Maha Astami (26thSept, 2009) : This marks the eighth day of Dassein. This day starts with animal sacrifices and other offerings to Goddess Durga. At midnight, eight buffaloes and 108 goats are beheaded in the Taleju Temple in Hanuman Dhoka Palace.
Maha Nawami(27th Sept): This is the ninth day of Dassein. On this day, animal sacrifices are made in the name of goddess Durga. The blood from the sacrificed animal is sprinkled on tools and machinery equipments.
Vijaya Dashami(28th Sept): The tenth day marks the climax of the Dashain. On this day people visit elders to receive blessings and tika (rice mixed with red vermilion put on the forehead). The barley sprouts (jamara) that were planted on Ghatasthapana are picked and worn in the hair. This day also, known as Dussehra marks the victory of Lord Ram over the demon King Ravana. In the evening, various processions and masked dances are held in the Kathmandu valley. There is Khadga Jatra or sword procession by priests dressed up as various gods, carrying wooden swords.
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