CREDOS: It’s Dashain
During the month of Asoj-Kartik, Nepalis celebrate Dashain for 15 days of lunar fortnight. Thorough Nepal, Goddess Durga is worshiped with innumerable pujas, offerings and animal sacrifices. Dashain celebrates the victory of gods over demons, the good over the evil. Lord Ram’s slaying of demon Ravana and Goddess Durga’s killing of another demon Mahisasur are celebrated during Dashain.
The first nine days stand for the duration of battle between Durga and Mahisasur. On the tenth day, Mahisasur was killed. The next five days are observed as a celebratory period to mark the great victory.
On the first nine days (Navaratri) people pay their homage to the goddess. It is widely believed that if she is worshiped properly, good fortune will smile on the worshipper. Regular rituals are observed till Fulpati, the seventh day. The tenth day is Vijaya Dashami. On this day, youngsters receive auspicious tika and jamara (barley shoots) from their elders. Starting this year, it will be the President of Nepal who will put tika on the foreheads of commoners with no relatives or who wish to receive it from the head of state, continuing the tradition of the royal period. Other Dashain rituals associated with the royals have also been modified to suit the changed situation.
On the tenth day, relatives come from far and wide to receive tika from seniors, the process which continues for the next four days. After four days of reunion, Dashain ends on the full moon day, or Kojagrat Purnima.