Travers Nepal

Dashain Festival in Nepal: Celebrating Joy, Traditions, and Togetherness

The Dashain Festival celebrated with immense enthusiasm in Nepal, holds a special place in the hearts of the Nepalese people. This significant festival, also known as Vijaya Dashami, is a time of joy, togetherness, and cultural fervor. Rooted in ancient traditions and mythology, Dashain is an occasion that unites families, strengthens bonds, and highlights the rich cultural heritage of Nepal.

Significance of Dashain

Dashain, lasting for 15 days, marks the triumph of good over evil and is a celebration of the goddess Durga's victory over the demon Mahishasura. It symbolizes the victory of righteousness and is a time of renewal, self-reflection, and seeking blessings for the future.

Mythological Origins

The origins of Dashain can be traced back to Hindu mythology, where it is believed that the goddess Durga battled the formidable demon Mahishasura for nine days and nights before emerging victorious on the tenth day. This tale of courage, strength, and resilience sets the foundation for the festival's deep-rooted significance.

Pre-Festival Preparations

Days leading up to Dashain are bustling with activity as people engage in thorough cleaning, decorating their homes, shopping for new clothes, and gathering essentials for the celebrations. The air is filled with anticipation and excitement.


The festival commences with Ghatsthapana, the ceremonial planting of barley seeds in clay pots. These pots are placed in homes and symbolize the goddess's presence. The sprouting of the seeds is believed to bring blessings.

Worship and Offerings

Throughout Dashain, homes are adorned with images of goddess Durga, and devotees engage in prayers, hymns, and offerings. The atmosphere is imbued with spirituality as families gather to seek blessings and express gratitude.

Tika, Jamara, and Blessings

On the main day of Dashain, elders apply tika (a mixture of yogurt, rice, and vermillion) and offer Jamara (barley shoots) to younger members of the family. This ritual symbolizes blessings of prosperity, longevity, and success.

Dashain Feasting

A key aspect of the festival is the lavish feasting that takes place. Families come together to share delectable meals, often consisting of traditional Nepali dishes. The feasting fosters a sense of unity and joy.

Reunion and Bonding

Dashain holds immense significance for family reunions. People travel from various parts of the country, and sometimes even abroad, to celebrate together. This strengthens family ties and creates lasting memories.

Cultural Delights

The festival is a cultural extravaganza, featuring various forms of art, music, and dance. Traditional performances showcase Nepal's rich cultural diversity and heritage, creating a vibrant and festive ambiance.

Flying Kites

Dashain coincides with the clear skies of autumn, making it an ideal time for kite flying. Colorful kites dot the sky, symbolizing freedom and joy. The sight of kites soaring high is a visual treat.

Fulfilling Family Values

The festival emphasizes the importance of family values and respect for elders. It serves as a reminder for the younger generation to uphold these values and pass them on to the next.

Animal Sacrifice

While controversial and debated, animal sacrifice is still practiced by some during Dashain. This ritual, rooted in ancient traditions, is believed to appease goddess Durga and ensure protection.

Symbolism and Beliefs

Dashain is rich with symbolism. The festival's various rituals and customs hold deep spiritual significance and are a reflection of Nepal's cultural tapestry and religious beliefs.

Regional Variations

While Dashain is celebrated throughout Nepal, there are variations in traditions and customs based on region. Each region adds its own unique flavor to the festival, making it a diverse and dynamic celebration.

Time of Reconciliation

Dashain also serves as a time for reconciliation and forgiveness. People mend broken relationships and come together to heal past wounds, fostering a sense of harmony and unity.

Colorful Attires

New clothes are an integral part of Dashain celebrations. People dress in vibrant, traditional attire, adding to the festive spirit and creating a visually stunning ambiance.

Giving and Receiving

The festival encourages acts of generosity and kindness. Gifts, both material and symbolic, are exchanged as tokens of love and appreciation, strengthening social bonds.

Embracing Generosity

Charity and giving back to the community are important aspects of Dashain. Many engage in philanthropic activities, helping those in need and embodying the spirit of compassion.

Spiritual Reflection

Dashain provides a time for spiritual reflection and self-assessment. It is an opportunity to contemplate one's actions, set new goals, and seek spiritual growth.

Renewal of Relationships

The festival acts as a catalyst for renewing friendships and relationships. It's a chance to reconnect with old friends and make new memories together.

Modern Dashain Celebrations

While traditional customs remain at the heart of Dashain, modern celebrations have incorporated new elements, including technological advancements and creative expressions, ensuring the festival's relevance in contemporary times.

What is Dashain?

Dashain is a major Hindu festival celebrated in Nepal, symbolizing the victory of good over evil.

How long does Dashain last?

Dashain spans 15 days, with various rituals and celebrations taking place during this period.

What is the significance of tika and jamara?

Tika and Jamara symbolize blessings of prosperity and success, bestowed by elders during the festival.

Is Dashain only celebrated by Hindus?

While Dashain has Hindu origins, people from various cultural backgrounds in Nepal partake in its celebrations.

What is the role of animal sacrifice in Dashain?

Animal sacrifice is a controversial aspect of Dashain, with some believing it appeases goddess Durga for protection.

How does Dashain promote family values?

Dashain emphasizes family reunions, respect for elders, and the importance of passing down traditions.

Are there regional differences in Dashain celebrations?

Yes, Dashain customs and traditions vary based on the region in Nepal.

How has Dashain evolved over time?

Modern Dashain celebrations incorporate new elements while keeping traditional customs alive.

What is the spiritual significance of Dashain?

Dashain offers a time for self-reflection, setting goals, and seeking spiritual growth.

How does Dashain foster generosity?

The festival encourages acts of charity, giving, and helping those in need.

In conclusion, the Dashain Festival in Nepal is a vibrant celebration that brings together tradition, spirituality, and togetherness. With its deep-rooted cultural significance and a blend of ancient customs and modern expressions, Dashain continues to be a cherished occasion that unites families, strengthens bonds, and enriches the lives of Nepalese people. This festival serves as a testament to the rich heritage and values of Nepal, making it an extraordinary and joyful experience for everyone involved.

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