Preparing for Dashain

Our readers feel that though Dashain means happiness and meeting families after a long time and receiving and giving blessings, for many Dashain could also mean ‘dasha’ (woe). But they are not going to let anything dampen their celebration. Following a fixed budget, being conscientious and spending in a smart way are how they are going to make sure that this Dashain is good for them. Happy Dashain to All!

Dashain is the longest and most auspicious festival of Nepali people. For each and every Nepali, Dashain has remained that one time of the year when all sorrows, griefs and hardships are forgotten, and togetherness and happiness are celebrated. But these days, Dashain has become more obligatory rather than celebratory and has become materialistic and an occasion to show off. I simply don’t experience the same kind of excitement we did when we were children.

With the arrival of Dashain, come problems. I have a lot of challenges to face this Dashain. Dashain needs time and money. As I am the head of the family, I am the one who has to manage the Dashain budget and other family members are dependent on me. I have two children and they are demanding new clothes and delicious food for Dashain. On the main day of Dashain, all relatives come to my house to put tika. And they have to be given dakshina and served with delicious food items. As I belong to a poor family, it is very difficult even to fulfil the basic needs of family members. But festival is not only for rich, poor people also celebrate it. Moreover, children look at neighbour’s children and want to celebrate Dashain like them.

I am preparing for the festival on my own. There is no one to support me financially. So, I am planning to borrow some money from my friends to celebrate Dashain this year. I have saved some of my earnings for Dashain but it is not sufficient. With a limited budget, it will be very difficult to manage all the requirements. But I will try to make my children happy by fulfilling their demands. I will be doing Dashain shopping from the cheapest market.

Even thought lots of problems arise with the arrival of festival every year, it is in managing difficulties and problems that the real essence of festival can be felt. And with this real essence of Dashain, I will celebrate it with my near and dear ones like in the past days.

— Sunita Khatri, Pharping, Kathmandu

I belong to a middle-class family with my father as the sole breadwinner. I am just a teen and so all the financial management of my family is carried out by my mother. Nevertheless, I’m vigilant regarding the hitches that may pop up in the family. Dashain is approaching and my mother is wholeheartedly involved in the preparation. By observing her activities, I have witnessed that she is going through many obstacles for the upcoming festival. First and foremost, she is up with the challenge of optimum allocation of limited budget. And she has to manage all the necessary requirements including purchase of food materials, shopping for family, transportation fare, decorating house and so on. Moreover, she has to separate a huge amount of the budget for dakshina. However, she handles it tactfully. She uses her past experiences and formulates a plan according to which she functions. Meanwhile, she splits some portions of her work among family members and expects us to perform it honestly.

— Sirjan Malla, Devdaha-6, Rupandehi

Dashain is the festival which brings all our families, relatives and friends together and is observed with great reverence in the name of Goddess Durga. But at the same time, it is not so easy to manage everything for the festival as the savings are not enough because of price hikes. As the festival is important, we celebrate it within out limit. Everyone needs to manage things according to their financial status.  Spending quality time with families, having fun and chatting, receiving tika and blessing from elders and worshiping Goddess Durga are the greater parts of celebration.

— Subha Dangol, Bhainsepati

With the arrival of great festivals like Dashain, many kinds of problems occur in our lives — from arranging vehicles to go back to ancestral homes for Dashain celebration to managing budget for the celebration. Even my family is not an exception to these problems. As such we are still uncertain whether to celebrate the festival here in Kathmandu City as per our economic capability or visit our ancestral home. Even though Dashain is approaching fast, we haven’t been able to take any clear decision about it. But despite all the challenges, what we have decided is that we are going to celebrate the festival with rational planning due to which we have a record of expenditure and saving of money without going overboard. I will be just buying a couple of shirts and pants, a pair of shoes and a belt with expenses not crossing Rs 10,000.

— Pratik Shrestha, Buddhanagar, Baneshwor

Dashain is the main festival of Hindus where family members gather and rejoice in its celebration. However, there is a huge preparation behind it. It is the elder members of a family who take care of it. The elder members of the family manage the budget for the celebration. The rich can afford to buy anything, but it is the poor who suffer from the heavy burden of Dashain celebration. There’s a saying in Nepali “Dashain ayo dhol bajhai, gayo Dashain reen bokai” (Dashain comes with fanfare and goes putting people in debt). I am single and can manage my living from my earnings, but during Dashain, there is extra expenditure — buying clothes, sweets, and other required items. The bus fare too increases while taking benefit of this festival. I have to consider the travelling cost as well during this time. But I’ve already estimated my money for this Dashain and I think it can go well.

— Anonymous

Since I am a child, I don’t really have any problems during Dashain. My parents will buy me new clothes. I will thank them with a ‘Thank You’ card. I think my family may have problems buying tickets because it is hard to get tickets during Dashain. I can’t do anything to resolve this problem but I can stay at the hostel for a few extra days until my father comes and picks me up.

— Ritika Pant, Grade 4

I have grown up in a joint family and hence Dashain has been always a family celebration for me. The preparation of Dashain has always been an elaborate task and as family members we all share responsibilities and expenses to make it great fun as well as an important bonding fabric for all the family members, both young and old. I still remember many of our relatives from far districts and rural areas visiting us during Dashain to join in the grand celebration.

Since all the family members equally share responsibilities as well as expenses to support this grand annual event, we never felt the pressure of Dashain preparation. While the ladies took charge of decorating our ancestral house and the festive cooking duties, the male members were engaged in welcoming and accommodating relatives visiting us as well as catering all the daily and festive commodities and groceries — flowers and sweets from the local bazaar. Many of our elder members would be engaged for months in preparing homemade crackers for the event, which we as the younger members were greatly excited about. I think the breakdown of the traditional joint family structures have reduced the joy of enjoying traditional and family aspect of Dashain significantly.

— Saikat Kumar Basu

Dashain is the main festival of Nepalis. All the people in our country celebrate this festival. But during this festival, some people face some problems. To celebrate this festival, we need lots of money. We need to spend lots of money in decorations, food, new clothes, new goods and items for our houses. In this festival many people need to move from one place to another to meet their relatives. There are less public vehicles and so it will be very difficult for people who don’t have their own vehicles to travel during Dashain. Moreover, during this time, the buses or micros are overloaded which may result in accidents and deaths. During this festival some people play cards, drink alcohol, and smoke — these are bad for our health. Some people even gamble and waste money. So to solve these problems, the government needs to put more public transportation means and come up with online ticketing system for the convenience of the people. The vehicles should not carry people more than the vehicle’s capacity which the government should see that it is being followed. And the people who play cards, drink, smoke should be controlled.

— Amaranjay Bhatt

Most of Nepalis experience dasha (misfortunes) during Dashain. People face several hurdles during this time of the year. From transportation problems to rocketing prices of goods in the market to monetary woes, Dashain is not a festival especially for people who earn minimum wages. For these people, it becomes tough to manage a large amount of money to celebrate Dashain with the relatives.

I don’t celebrate Dashain in Kathmandu but have to travel far. The travelling is difficult during this festive season. There aren’t many vehicles and a long travel on bumpy roads on skeletal buses is horrible. I have to think twice to plan travelling during this time. Last year, I had a horrible travelling experience. So, I have already booked a ticket this year. To problems like these, the government should act on time so that people won’t face such petty problems.

— Janakee Gautam, Balaju, Kathmandu

Dashain is the biggest festival of our country which has been celebrated since ages. Dashain is the time, when people take a break from their busy life to be with their families and loved ones. Dashain is that auspicious time of the year in which people forget all the troubles and indulge in feasting and fun. Dashain spreads happiness all over the country. But, preparing for Dashain is not an easy task.

Nowadays, Dashain celebration demands a lot of money. Dashain is the occasion that is to be celebrated with family and loved ones but arranging tickets for vehicles to be with families is not an easy job at the time of Dashain. Inflation and limited budget are other factors responsible for creating problems in the celebration of Dashain. Mostly, people having lower income become the victim of inflation.

In my case, I haven’t faced such big problems with the arrival of festival as I don’t need to go outside the Valley to be with my family. But of course, due to inflation, I have come across some problems but they are manageable. I believe that festivals are meant for enjoying and we should stop unnecessary showing off during festivals and let others and oneself enjoy it with the things that we have instead of regretting on those things that we can’t afford.

— Roshani Acharya

As we welcome Dashain, we also welcome happiness, enjoyment, fun and lots of expenses. This year I graduated my +2 level and I need to take admission for further studies. In the age of inflation, it is very tough for me to manage Dashain and admission expenses. So, this Dashain I am going to celebrate it in a very simple and sweet way. In my view, happiness, enjoyment and fun come when we people come together, sit together, eat together and laugh together with content and happy heart. And, this is what I am going to do because I am happy and satisfied with the decision I have taken.

— Khushbu Gupta

Dashain is all about celebration. From children to old ones, Dashain is about happiness and fun. And each one of us celebrates Dashain with our families. For me, Dashain is one of the most important festivals where I can meet my families and relatives. After a busy schedule of studies and work, Dashain is a vacation for me. Not surprisingly, every year I face the same kind of problem during this festival time and it the transportation problem. I face this problem as I leave for my hometown during this festive season.

But when I am in my hometown, it is another story. I will get to meet with some of my old friends who have always supported in life, be it sorrow or happy moments in my life. I am not much of a gambler and I don’t play cards usually but I play cards a bit during Dashain with all my brothers. I am strictly vegetarian who hates to eat meat. Instead, I will eat fresh fruits. In such a way, I am hoping to celebrate the great festival this year.

— Saroj Wagle, Dumarwana, 04, Bara

The festival of Dashain brings a huge smile on my face and immense joy in my heart. Keeping aside the hectic schedules, all the family members come together and spend a wonderful time.

There are many problems that we witness during the festival. But the transportation problem tops the list. As everyone wants to be at their home outside the Valley, we can see vehicles being loaded with a large number of people (exceeding the limit) which is actually not safe for such unmanaged and risky roads in our country.

Every year such loaded vehicles have resulted in tragic accidents taking lives of many. In hurry and excitement of reaching home as soon as possible, willingly or unwillingly we are bound to travel in such a way. The government should take steps to reconstruct the roads while the number of vehicles should be increased as per the demand.

Rather than blaming the government for such pathetic road conditions and transportation authorities for the unavailability of enough vehicles when the number of passengers hikes, it’s time to protect our life ourselves. People, who have holidays early, can travel early and this will help decrease the number of people during the peak days. Sadly, the problem is that we all get to leave at the same time. But if every individual decides to travel safely, rejecting those horrifying travelling ways, other new alternatives may come up. Who doesn’t want to be with their family in the time of celebration? But is it worth your life? Safety should be our first and foremost priority because festivals come every year but our life once lost cannot return back.

— Aakriti Khadka

In today’s era of competition for survival, almost everyone is struggling for a better living. In chasing our dreams, people are completely devoted to their careers and focused on earning money. So, am I. It seems like ages that I have been a part of social gathering and fun filled get-togethers with my loved ones as I am busy with my studies and work. But the months of Aswin and Kartik bring the sparks in me as I have fun and feast with my loved ones. Thanks to festivals like Dashain, Tihar and Chhath. These festivals bring moments of relaxation and fun-filled celebration in a year. Along with fun and pleasures, it also brings financial burden as expenditure increases.

We have to spend money on new dresses, sweets, decoration of houses et cetera during the time of festivals. Also, managing time for puja, guests, gatherings, studies, work, shopping and relaxation at the same time is going to be quite tough for me. But I think I will be able to manage time for all these. And the money issues can be maintained in the coming months by cutting off unnecessary expenses on junk food and mobile phone recharges.

— Ritu Gupta, Birgunj-13, Parsa


Relatives are an essential part of our lives. From birthday parties to festivals like Dashain, they often visit our homes to join in the celebrations. Yet you can’t stand some of them as they are nosy — from wanting to know your exam marks to what you are studying and how much you earn to when you are getting married. Then there are also those who give pieces of advice which turn out to be helpful. In a nutshell, relatives add to your life in their own ways. Share your interesting/good/bad moments with your relatives which has made an impact in your life.

Send your replies in not more than 200 words by Friday, October 14 by 2:00 pm to Features, The Himalayan Times, e-mail: