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DASHAIN : Things you are unaware but happens only during Dashain Festival.

Dashain is not only the longest festival but also the most anticipated one among all the festivals of Nepal. It is celebrated by all Nepalese from various castes and tribes with joy and excitment. The fifteen days of celebration occurs during the bright lunar fortnight ending on the day of the full moon. Dashain commemorates a great victory of the gods over the wicked demons. One of the victory stories told is the Ramayan, where the lord Ram after a big struggle slaughtered Ravana, the fiendish king of demons. 

In preparation for Dashain every home is cleansed and beautifully decorated, painted as an invitation to the mother goddess, so that she may visit and bless the house with good fortune. 

The first nine days of Dashain are called Nawa Ratri when tantric rites are conducted. 

The first day of Dashain is called Ghatasthapana, which literally means pot establishing. On this day the kalash, (holy water vessel) symbolising goddess Durga often with her image embossed on the side is placed in the prayer room. The room where the kalash is established is called 'Dashain Ghar'

As days passes by regular rituals are observed till the seventh day. The seventh day is called 'Fulpati'. In fulpati, the royal kalash filled with holy water, banana stalks, jamara and sugar cane tied with red cloth is carried by Brahmans on a decorated palanquin under a gold tipped and embroidered umbrella. 

The eighth day is called the Maha Asthami: The fervour of worship and sacrifice to Durga and Kali increases. 

The ninth day is called Nawami: Temples of mother goddess are filled with people from dawn till dusk. Animals mostly black buffaloes are slaughtered to honour Durga the goddess of victory and might and to seek her blessing. 

The tenth day is the Dashami: On this day we take tika and jamara from our elders and receive their blessing. We visit our elders in their home and get tika from them while our younger ones come to our home to receive blessing from us.

Beside all that here are the Things you are unaware but happens only during Dashain Festival..

#1 FLYING KITES

You know Dashain is right around the corner when you start seeing kites in the sky. But did you know that its motif was to remind the gods to not send in the rains anymore? Someone should have tried that when we had to break out our canoes to get through Jamal in the downpours.

#2 THE SLAUGHTER

Animal sacrifices are the norm during this festive season and is believed to commemorate the mythical bloody battles between the “divine” and “demonic” powers. The slaughters symbolize the sacrificing of our “animal qualities”. Although it’s highly debated as to whether the senseless killings snub out the animal qualities or enhance them.

#3 RAW FACTS

With all that slaughtering, the meat has to go somewhere. It is estimated that the consumption of meat during Dashain — Saptami to Dashami— increases by seven times with a daily average intake of 28 gram to 212 gram per person. Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur districts need around 50,000 to 60,000 goats during Dashain.

The Dashain favorites: mutton covers 34 per cent of total meat demand of the capital and the remaining is fulfilled with buffalo, chicken and pork meat.

#4 CRIME RATES

It is a common trend for crime rates to drop during Dashain season. According to the police, social crime in the Capital during last year’s Dashain festival decreased by a whopping 52.38 percent. Let’s hope the tendency continues and we see a further decline in criminal activity.

#5 BON VOYAGE!

It is estimated that almost 50% of the population in the Kathmandu valley leaves for different parts of the country to celebrate the festival. It’s no surprise the streets are so empty during Dashain.

#6 WHERE DID THAT SWING COME FROM?

Like the kites and tika, the tall bamboo swings are synonymous with the festival of Dashain. It is believed to be good luck and a requisite to get both your feet off the ground during Dashain, and most people get on the almighty swings.

The swings that seem to pop out of nowhere are actually set up by the Armed Police Force of Nepal for your convenience. But do take care when you get on one of these structures because some would argue that they are not the safest bets when it comes to safe swings.

Source: http://tnm.com.np/