Celebrations for Dashain has begun in Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal, on Sunday, September 29. Dashain is an important Hindu festival celebrated all over the Himalayan country. Dashain, also known as Bada Dashain is the longest festivals celebrated in Nepal with great fervor and zest. The festival which usually falls in the month of September or October is celebrated for two weeks with prayers and offerings to goddess Durga, also known as the universal mother Goddess.
Popularly known as a festival of harvest, the first day of the festival started with Ghatasthapana by setting up a pot (Kalash) symbolizing mother Durga, which is filled with holy water and covered with cow dung and barley seeds, followed by the sowing of barley, wheat, maize and paddy seeds.
"Today at Hanuman Dhoka, Dashain Ghar we kept Diyo, Kalash and Ganesh we worshipped Goddess Bhagwati-Durga Mata, Mahakali, Maha-Laxmi, Maha-Saraswati, Istadevi Sworipini Durga Bhagwati. Along with we chant Durga Kawach, Durga Path, Durga Satrasati chants hymns and worship them," Dev Acharya, the priest of Dashain Ghar at Hanuman Dhoka Durbar Square told ANI.
It is a celebration of good prevailing over evil that lasts for 15 days. The most important is the first, seventh, eighth, ninth and the tenth day. The first day with Ghatasthapana marks the beginning of the festival, the seventh day is also known as ‘Saptami’ followed by Maha Ashtami on the eighth day when families offer goats, ducks, chickens, eggs and coconuts to the goddess Kali and the meat is taken as prasad. The ninth day, Navami is the day when craftsman, mechanics, traders worship their equipment and tools. The tenth day is the most important day when the goddess ‘Shakti’ is worshiped in all her manifestations.
One of the victory stories according to the Hindu mythology reveals that a demon named ‘Mahishasura’ who spread horror was killed by Goddess Durga. the demon Mahishasura was causing terror in the Devaloka (world of the gods) until Durga killed the demon. The first nine days of Dashain symbolize the battle that took place between the different manifestations of Durga and Mahishasura. The tenth day is the day when Durga finally defeated him. The festival also symbolizes the victory of Lord Rama over the demon king Ravana and is also celebrated as Dussera in India. The start of the Dashain festival also marks the beginning of Navratri celebrations in India.
(With inputs from ANI)