Dashain Dashain




If you were seeking for the greatest festival of Hindus all over the world then let us know you that the festival is Vijaya Dashami ( a compound of two words Vijay which means victory and Dashami which means tenth) or often nominated as Dashain, Dusshera, Dassara or Bada Dashain. This festival is the longest and the most enthusiastic festival in the lunar calendar of Nepal as well as for all the Hindus in the earth. 

This festival begins at the end of monsoon from Ghatasthapana that occurs on the first day of Ashwin Shukla Paksha( bright fortnight) and is celebrated till the end of Poornima (full moon night). It is believed that this festival is originated from Indian subcontinenti.e Nepal, India, Bhutan, Bangladesh. The festival is mainly celebrated with great zeal and joy by the Hindus, Buddhists, and Kirants of Nepal including the ethnic Nepali speaking people in Darjeeling, Sikkim, Assam, and northeast India as well as it is celebrated among the Lhotsampa of Bhutan and by the Burmese Gurkhas in Myanmar.

 The refreshment and joy invited by this great festival obviously make it a most awaited festival for all Hindus. You may think that Dashain being the same festival is celebrated with the same process but it is not the fact. This festival is celebrated differently from different communities in different regions. Kirant of Nepal celebrates Dashain by eating meats of various animal and putting white or yellow Teeka ( a composition of rice and curd and yellow vermilion) whereas Buddhists Mustang in Nepal celebrates Dashain by sacrificing sheep in the tenth day (Teeka) of Dashain and putting whiteTeeka in their forehead.

 Likewise, the Newar community of Nepal conducts Mha puja. similarly, Hindus in Nepal celebrate it by conducting Navaratri pooja and Chandi Paath. They sacrifice Boka ( He-Goat) on the day of Maha Ashtami and in almost al 15 days they intake goat meat considering it as holy food. On the day of Teeka Hindu people take Teeka from their elders along with blessings and Jamara by chanting the mantra: Did you know that the history of Dashain deals with the Hindu mythology and symbolizes the victory of god over wicked demons. 

The story represents the defeat of buffalo demon Mahisasura by the Shakti, goddess Durga. The story depicts the furious battle between god and the demon for nine days. That is why people conduct Navaratri up to nine days from Ghatasthapana to Nawami. at the tenth day, people take Teeka, Jamara, and blessings from their elders. But why do people take Teeka only on the tenth day? Why not others? Well, this is because in the tenth-day goddess Durga finally defeated and killed her opponent the buffalo demon Mahisasura. 

Similarly, it also deals with the other story which shows the battle between Purushottam Ram and the great scientist King Ravan for rescuing his wife Sita. The conclusion of the story was the defeat of Ravan by the blessings of goddess Durga. Since from the beginning you were reading that this festival is celebrated for 15 days but didn't get chance to know about that 15 days, here you go: among those fifteen days the first day is known as Ghatasthapana as mentioned earlier. 

On this day people sow seeds of maize and barley in a Kalash filled with holy water. The Kalash symbolizes goddess Durga. Then the priest worships the Kalash in the auspicious time selected by him. it is believed that goddess Durga resides there during Navaratri. One if the family member should worship Kalsah every day two times. Outsiders are not allowed to enter the room where the Kalash is kept. 

The following five days from Duitiya to Kshasti are not so significant days as no typical activities happen on this day. After Khasti the sixth day of Dashain Fulpati comes which is also known as Saptami. On this day, the royal Kalash, banana stalks, Jamara, and sugar cane tied with red cloth is brought. This day people worship goddess Durga with lots of flowers.

Then after the eight days of Dashain is welcomed by sacrificing buffaloes, hen, goats, and ducks in temples to appease the bloodthirsty goddess Kali. KAALI IS THE ONE OF THE FIERCE MANIFESTATION OF GODDESS DURGA. The sacrificed animals meat is taken home and cooked considering it as prasad ( food blessed by divinity). 

While Navaratra puja is being carried out, great feasts are held in the homes of common people. On this day an event called "Khadga Puja" is conducted by the Newar community where they do puja of their weapons. After this day MahaNavami comes which is the last day of Navaratri. On this day rituals and ceremonies kiss the top of the sky. 

Lord Vishwakarma, the god of creation according to Hindu mythology, is also worshipped on this day Since you have been reading about Teeka from the starting of the article lets go briefly into it. Teekanis the tenth day of the Dashain and one f the most important day when Goddess Durga killed the demon Mahisarua and Rm defeated Ravana. 

This day people prepare tika by mixing rice, yogurt, and vermilion and put on their foreheads by their elder along with Jamara (the plant grown after sowing seeds of maize and barley on Ghatasthapna) and blessings. Children from this day go to their maternal house and take Teeka. the major attractions for kids are the money they are given by their elders in their maternal house. Giving money to a son from his father side is not allowed.

 However, some families give them when they are kids for their satisfaction and happiness. people pay a visit to their relatives for Teeka but Buddhists on Mustang don't visit to their relative's house. The ritual of taking tika from all the elder relatives (even the distant relatives) helps in the renewal and reunites the family and community greatly. 

This is one reason why the festival is celebrated with so much vigor and enthusiasm. Since Dashain is an enthusiastic festival for all Hindus, it has a lot of importance in the contemporary world where people are attracted towards the western cultures. This festival helps to reunite family and friends and provides recreation for people from their hectic and busy life. This festival also resembles Hindus religion and customs. This festival is celebrated with a lot of vigor and enthusiasm throughout the world.
Authored By Shlok Koirala

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