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THINGS WHAT YOU MAY NOT HAVE KNOWN ABOUT OUR BIGGEST FESTIVAL DASHAIN

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 WHAT THE CLUCK?!

The recent culling of a large number of bird flu-infected broiler parent chickens is likely to trigger a shortage of chicken meat during Dashain, propelling traders to raise prices of other types of meat during the festive season. Even with the bird flu may no longer be a threat, compensating for the culling may not be possible within Dashain. The price of mutton has already increased to Rs. 750per kg from Rs. 700 per kg prior the bird flu. With the demand still increasing, it’s highly likely for the prices to further increase.

6 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.

7 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.