Dashain is the longest Hindu festival in Nepal. Traditionally celebrated for two weeks with prayers and offerings to Durga. Durga is the Universal Mother Goddess for Hindus. Dashain is a time for family reunions, Putting red tika on forehead, exchange of gifts and blessings from elders. Elaborate pujas. Dashain honors the Goddess Durga. she was created out of the shakti or energy of all the gods, armed with weapons from each of them.
How is it Important ?
Goddess Durga symbolize valor and prowess. she is worshipped and offered sacrifices to ensure the devotees, progress and prosperity. During the first ten days, pilgrims flock to various river confluences early in the morning and sacred shrines in the evening. Ghatasthapana is the First day of Dashain . Phool Pati, Mahaastami, Nawami and Vijaya Dashami are the series of the events under Dashain each marked with a different set of rituals.
During Dashain, men and women in their fineries visit their elders to seek tika accompanied by blessings . Tika is a dab of red vermilion mixed with yogurt and rice. Sword precessions (Paayaa) are also held in various part of the Kathmandu Valley. A large number of animals are officially sacrificed at Hanuman Dhoka during Nawami. This ceremony is attended by officials, invitees and visitors also . beside this in different temples large number of animals like Goat, buffalo, cock are sacrificed by the hindus . This Sacrifice is done on 8th day of Dashain called Asthami .
During the ninth day, the Taleju Temple which is normally out of bounds is also open to the public. Public worship Taleju this day . The last day, known as Kojagrat Purnima, is the full moon. New clothes, home visits, grand feasts, kite flying and village swings are the highlights of Dashain. Around this time the population of Kathmandu is greatly reduced . This is because many head home to various parts of the country.
On the tenth day known as Tika, people are seen moving around with their foreheads covered with rice tika, wearing new clothes. There is much feasting as people visit relatives’ homes to receive tika and blessings.