Dashain, also known as Bijaya Dashami is one of the most important Hindu festival of Nepal which is celebrated delightfully in every corner of our country. It is the longest celebrated Hindu festival which lasts for 2 weeks with prayers and offerings to Durga, the universal Mother Goddess. Dashain which falls in the month of Kartik (late September and early October) is a time for family reunions, exchange of gifts and blessings and elaborate Puja.
In preparation of 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. Markets are filled with shoppers seeking new clothing, gifts, luxuries and enormous supplies of temple offering for the gods as well as foodstuffs for the family feasting. Ghataspana, Phoolpati, Mahaastami, Nawami and Bijaya 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 (a dab of red vermilion mixed with yogurt and rice) accompanied by blessings.A large number of animals are officially sacrificed at Hanuman Dhoka during Nawami which is attended by officials, invitees and visitors.New clothes, home visits, grand feasts, kite flying and village swings are the highlights of Dashain.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.