Dashain is a religious Hindu festival celebrated annually during the Hindu month of Kartik, between September and October in the Gregorian calendar. This year, it will begin on October 24. The festival is celebrated by Hindus in Nepal and some parts of India, and also in some parts of Bhutan and Myanmar. Also known as Bijaya Dashami, Dashain is the biggest, most auspicious, and the most anticipated festival of Nepal. Lasting 15 days, it is the longest national public holiday in the country.
History of Dashain
Also called ‘Bijaya Dashami,’ Dashain is celebrated by Nepalese people, both within and outside the country. Centered on the worship of the goddess ‘Durga,’ thousands of offerings and animal sacrifices are made. The significance of the festival is the triumph of good over evil, commemorating a victory of the gods over the wicked ones. This is symbolized in the fabled victory of ‘Durga’ over the demon ‘Mahisasur,’ who terrorized the earth. Another popular story is the ‘Ramayan,’ where Lord Ram succeeded in slaughtering the demon king after evoking the name of Durga. There are six significant days, which are day one, day seven, day eight, day nine, day 10, and day 15. The first nine days of the festival, known as ‘Nawa Ratri,’ symbolize the nine days of battle between Durga and the demon. On day 10, the demon was slain and the final five days symbolize the victory celebrations in honor of Durga as the divine mother goddess.
During the preparations for the festival, Nepalese people clean and decorate their homes, inviting Durga in so that she may bless and bring good fortune. The markets are usually besieged by shoppers purchasing clothes, gifts, sweets, foodstuffs, and supplies to offer the gods.
Hinduism comes to Nepal from the Indus Valley via a sage called Ne.
Old scriptures contain references to the celebration of Dashain in Nepal.
The Malla king Nripendra Malla and the Gorkhali king Prithvipati Shah become special friends on the day of Dashain Tika.
The Dashain festivities continue to become even more important to the Nepalese.
What is the population of Nepal?
The population of Nepal is estimated to be approximately 30 million people.
Who is the current president of Nepal?
The current president of Nepal is Bidhya Devi Bhandari.
What country has the highest number of Hindus?
About 1.1 billion Hindus reside in India, making up about 79% of the Hindu population.
How to Observe Dashain
Go out there and do good
Celebrate Dashain by doing good to symbolize the triumph of good over evil. In our everyday lives, it's important to shun evil and be the shining light in a dark world.
Show kindness to everyone
The best way to do good is to show kindness to our fellow humans. This can be done by giving to those less fortunate or speaking out against injustice. Endeavor to be kind to others.
Spread the word
Raise awareness about Dashain in your local community. Alternatively, post about it online and spread the word.
5 Interesting Facts About Nepal
Nepal is a landlocked country
Nepal is nestled between India and China and does not have a waterfront.
Nepal has some high peaks
Nepal possesses eight of the 10 highest peaks in the world, namely Mount Everest, Kanchenjunga, Lhotse, Cho Oyu, Dhaulagiri, Makalu, Manaslu, and Annapurna.
The Lord Buddha was born here
He is said to have been born in 623 B.C. in the southern part of Nepal
Nepal is home to the Gurkha soldiers
Gurkha soldiers are renowned for their superb fighting skills.
The Nepalese have a different calendar
The 'Bikram Sambat,' the Nepalese calendar, is ahead of the Gregorian calendar by a whopping 57 years.
Why Dashain is Important
The concept of good vs evil
Dashain symbolizes the triumph of good over evil. In our world, it often seems that evil deeds go unpunished but in the end, good always prevails.
Dashain brings people together
Both within and outside the country, Dashain is celebrated by Hindus all over the world. It is a time for families to gather and spend time with one another.
Dashain is a part of Nepal’s culture
Aside from being a religious festival, Dashain is also ingrained into the culture of Nepal. There is no doubt that our culture and traditions make us who we are as individuals.