Dashain celebrations and memories


If you ask people about their impression or idea of Dashain, then perhaps most of them will say, “Naya luga laune, masu khane, changa udaune ani taas khelne (To wear new clothes, eat meat, fly kites and play cards).”

Yes these are a few of the favourite things about Dashain. And our celebrities share their thoughts on these aspects of this great festival.

Yogeshwor Amatya, singer

I prefer mutton, and I like mutton prepared by my cook. But as Dashain is celebrated for a pretty long period of time, I tend to get tired of it after a few days. When I was younger, I loved my mother’s cooking.

When I was around 15, I remember insisting my grandmother to buy me a pair of sneakers. And I remember flying kites with my brother when we were kids. We used to get the twines from India, which was at that time better than those available here and enjoy changa chait.

I’d like to say I am against extravagant spending during the festival. People should concentrate more on family togetherness.

Deepak Giri, actor

I love the mutton curry and kebab prepared by my wife. I tried to cook once, but no one in my family had dinner that night.

I remember that as a child I knew that I could demand anything and get it too because it was Dashain. And I used to pester my dad to buy me different clothes.

I prefer playing cards and kauda to flying kites. Last year I won Rs 65,000 and distributed it among my family members.

Dipesh K Bhattarai, singer

My favourite Dashain food is mutton for sure, and I love the mutton kebab I prepare.

As a child I used to love wearing jeans pants (which I still do). I remember that I was very happy when my parents bought me a pair of jeans.

I like flying kites. However, more than just the flying, the fun is the changa chait. We used to tie a stone on a piece of string and throw it across any flying kite in the neighbourhood and snatch it.

Anup Baral, theatre personality

Dashain is all about masu (meat). For me it is chyangra ko kebab, prepared by my father.

I don’t remember any particular Dashain clothes, but yes I use to throw a tantrum to make them buy whatever I wanted.

For me Dashain is also about changa (kite). As children we used to compete and fight for the kite. We used to run behind the chait changa and collect them. It was sort of a thing of pride to collect such changas. I remember that once I had up to seven such kites.

Diya Maskey, actor

I don’t like the whole festival. I prefer spending time with my friends. And during the festival I don’t get to be with them.

However, I like mutton curry cooked by my mother. I am not at all fussy about clothes, and even during childhood I used to wear whatever my mom bought me. But I do remember a pink frock.

I don’t fly kites or play cards. But I have a vague memory of playing cards with cousins and siblings when we were kids.

Gaurav Shrestha, artist

As I’m a vegetarian, Dashain is a bit boring for me as there are no special items that I get to eat. But my mum does cook different varieties of dishes for me.

When we were young, my elder brother and I were always bought the same clothes. We even looked like twins.

I don’t play cards, but the few times I have, the highest amount I’ve won is Rs 3,500. I’ve lost even more than that.

Erina Tamrakar, artist

I remember that when I was around seven, there was a special Kumari puja. I dressed up like a Kumari with even a special tika. All the family members came and performed pujas, which I really enjoyed.

During tika, all our family members come together at our home and the seniors give children fruits and sweets. I love the sound of bells resonating from temples from early morning and visiting different temples.

As I I’m not very fond of meat, I don’t have any special item that I relish.

Basundhara Bhusal, actor

Dashain is all about khashi ko masu (mutton), and during the festival it is even more tasty. Having it with kankrako achar (cucumber pickle) is really delicious.

Our parents used to take us to Bata, and I insisted on buying two pairs. My father travelled to India a lot and the dresses he brought for us were kept safely and given to us only during Dashain.

We usually have a family gathering on Fulpati or Astami, which I really enjoy. But it is receiving and giving tika and jamara, which I really look forward to each year.

Alok Nembang, director

I relish khasiko masu — well-fried or gravy. Another Dashain food I love is fried aloo with green chili. I get the best of these at my Mum’s place.

Six years ago, I wanted to put on daura suruwal, and was really happy when I got to wear it. I am especially fond of playing Marriage and Gulam Chor, which I do with my family and relatives. In the initial stage, I win but later on end up losing. This happens every time.

Shyam Nepali, musician

I have to have food that emit Nepali aroma like khasiko masu and other traditional tarkaris during Dashain. I fall for sekuwa (Nepali barbeque) and fried fish in gravy.

I always wear daura suruwal during Dashain. I sometimes play Jutpati

as that’s the only game I know. A game two years ago was memorable as I won Rs 5,000.


Namrata Shrestha, model/actor

There is special food. It used to be meat but I eat that almost everyday. But, of course, food tastes different during Dashain. I enjoy meat prepared by my Mum, while my sister is an expert in making aloo dum.

I remember that quite some years ago I wanted to wear kurta-salwar but my Mum had discouraged me. However, she pleasantly surprised me with a gift of kurta-salwar during Dashain.

I play Marriage with my family and friends, which I learnt from my father.