Food and Festivals

Dashain Festival in Nepal

Dashain Festival in Nepal, also known as Vijaya Dashami is the biggest and longest festival celebrated by Hindu Origin Nepalese all over the world.

Dashain lies in the month of Ashwin (September/October). Ashwin is the happiest month, which brings joy and a smile to the face of Nepalese people.

During Dashain, all the Government and private institutes remain closed for 10-15 days. People who are far away from the home get to visit their place. The main beauty of this festival is happiness where you get to meet your loved ones.

Dashain falls in late September and early October. Also, the weather during this month is neither hot nor cold. so it is a favorable time to celebrate Nepal’s most auspicious festival.

Check Out: Tihar Festival in Nepal

Dashain Festival in Nepal

Importance of Dashain Festival in Nepal

According to Hindu Mythology, the demon namely Mahisasur from the underworld created a troubled environment in the Devalok (where God lives).

So, Goddess Durga battled with the demon for ten days and killed Mahisasur. Therefore, Dashain is the festival of a win over evil.

Dashain Festival Celebration in Nepal

We called Dashain as Bijaya Dashami or Vijaya Dashami. Vijaya means victory and Dashami means tenth. So, the tenth day of Dashain is the most important among all. After that, the last five days of the festival are the celebration of the victory.

Dashain Festival in Days

Bijaya Dashami is 15 days long festival starting from Shukla Paksha (Bright Lunar Fortnight) and ending on Purnima (Full Moon).

Among all fifteen days, the most important days are the first, seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth, and fifteenth days.

Also Read: Best Season to Visit Nepal

The First Day – Ghatasthapana

Ghatasthapana is the first day of Bijaya Dashami where Dashain actually begins. The day starts with establishing the Ghada(Kalash), which is a holy vessel or pot.

The first day of Dashain is really important since we sow Jamara (Sacred yellow grass).

So what is the process behind sowing Jamara?

The Kalash symbolizes the Goddess Durga. A sandy rectangular place is established where the Kalash is filled with clean and pure water. Normally, Kalash is kept in the center covered with cow dung and sewn barley, and corn seeds.

The whole process takes place in Puja/Dashain Ghar, which is a sacred place in the house. The sandy rectangular area is kept away from the rays of direct sunlight and needs to be watered daily.

how to grow jamara in Dashain

Usually, the eldest male family worships the Kalash twice a day, one early in the morning before eating breakfast and another in the evening before dinner.

The process continues for seven days. At the end of seven/eight days, we can see long-grown yellowish sacred grass known as ‘Jamara.’

The Seventh Day – Fulpati

The Seventh-day is known as Fulpati. Usually, at Fulpati, people start to clean and decorate the house. Ful means flower and Pati mean leaves so, Fulpati literally means flower leaves.

Traditionally, on the day the Brahmin priest brings the royal Kalash, banana stalks, Jamara, and sugar cane tied with red clothes from Gorkha to Kathmandu.

Fulpati Parade observed by the President during Dashain Festival in Nepal
Photo Source: Official Nepali Army Website

Also, a fulpati parade is held in Tudhikhel(Kathmandu) which is observed by the President and other officials. A parade is organized by the Nepalese Army when phulpati arrives from Gorkha.

This is a century-long tradition where the army fires a weapon in the honor of Phulpati. And after the ceremony at Tudhikhel, the phulpati is taken to Hanuman Dhoka.

The Eighth Day – Maha Ashtami

The eighth day of the Dashain festival is known as Maha Ashtami. On this day both Durga and Kali are worshipped by devotees. This is known as the day when the most fierce of Goddess Durga’s manifestation, Kali, appeared from the sacrifice of animals like buffaloes, hens, ducks, and goats. Devotees offered blood to the Goddess as a symbol of fertility.

The eighth day is also known as the Kal Ratri (Dark Night). People consumed the meat of Ducks, Goats, Buffaloes, and Hens as prasad (gifts) from the Goddess. The meat lasts up to the fifteenth day of the Dashain festival in Nepal.

The Ninth Day – Maha Navami

The Dashain festival in Nepal reaches its peak because it’s the day before Vijaya Dashami also known as the Tika day. The 9th day also known as Maha Navami is the last day of Navaratri.

Kali and Durga’s temples are full of devotees to worship their favorite Goddess. Maha Navami is the day of Viswakarma (The God of Creativity).

On this day all the machinery items like Bus, Car, Bike, and Cycle including household things like knives, Axe, and Khukuri are worshipped.

The Tenth Day – Vijaya Dashami

Vijaya Dashami is the most auspicious and tenth day of the Dashain festival in Nepal. On this day the elder person in the house usually the parents puts Tika (a mixture of rice, yogurt, and Vermillion Powder) and Jamara (Sacred yellow grass) and also provides blessings with Dakshina (money) and gifts.

Dashain Festival in Nepal with Tika and Jamara

People usually travel to their relative house to put tika and blessings from their elder ones. This tradition lasts up to four days. Relatives gather together and have varieties of food.

The Fifteenth Day – Kojagrat Puja

The festival’s last day is called “Kojagrat” which falls on Purnima (Full Moon). Kojagrat means “who is awake.” The celebration of the festival that started from Ghatasthapana (1st day) ends at the full moon (15th day).

There is a myth that if you are awake all night in Kojagrat Purnima, then Godness of Wealth, Laxmi will give wealth to all the devotees.

Also Check: Teej Festival in Nepal

Dashain Festival Date in Nepal

YearEnglish DateNepali DateFestival Day Name
2022/2079Oct 2 Ashwin 15Phulpati
Oct 3 Ashwin 16Maha Ashtami
Oct 4 Ashwin 17Maha Navami
Oct 5 Ashwin 18Vijaya Dashami
2022/2079 Dashain Festival Dates
YearEnglish DateNepali DateFestival Day Name
2023/2080Oct 21Ashwin 5Phulpati
Oct 22 Ashwin 6Maha Ashtami
Oct 23 Ashwin 7Maha Navami
Oct 24 Ashwin 8Vijaya Dashami
2023/2080 Dashain Festival Dates
YearEnglish DateNepali DateFestival Day Name
2024/2081Oct 9Ashwin 23Phulpati
Oct 10 Ashwin 24Maha Ashtami
Oct 11 Ashwin 25Maha Navami
Oct 12 Ashwin 26Vijaya Dashami
2024/2081 Dashain Festival Dates

How do People Celebrate the Dashain Festival in Nepal?

There are certain things Nepalese usually do during Dashain time like playing cards, flying kites, buying clothes, etc. Let’s find out more…

1. Flying Kites

Kite Flying in Nepal

Kite flying is famous among teenagers. You can see colorful kites flying in the sky and children shouting “Changa Chet.” Also, you can see a street full of kids running after kites and playing with each other.

2. Playing Card

Playing Cards in Dashain Festival

Playing card is most popular in Dashain. Usually, family members sit together with money and get fun together. Also, neighbor gathers in a place and bet money while playing card.

3. Decorating Home

House Cleaning in Nepal

Decorating and cleaning the home is a part of this festival too. Since decorating your house and welcoming the goddess, Durga brings luck to you and your family. Also, your relatives visit your residence, so it is good to make your house more beautiful and clean.

4. Buying New Clothes

Buying New Clothes During Dashain Festival in Nepal

Since Dashain is a joyful festival and buying new clothes is yet another essential part of the festival. Especially, purchasing new clothing brings excitement to the children. We see a massive crowd in clothing and shoe stores. Also, you can get plenty of festival sale discounts at this time.

5. Playing Swings

People playing Swing during Dashain Festival in Nepal

Usually, we can see tall swings made of bamboo installed in open areas which are popular among kids and Adults. The myth behind the swing is that one should leave the ground at least once in Dashain so that one can make your path to heaven after death.

Know about: Holi Festival in Nepal

Final Words

After celebrating Dashain Festival for 15 days, we go back to normal life, and we wait for another biggest festival Tihar.

Moreover, many foreigners enjoy being in Nepal, and if you want to celebrate Dashain with Nepalese, then you can visit Nepal during the festival time.

If you love to wish your friends and family then you can read our 100 Dashain Wishes blog post and send SMS/messages.

We hope you liked our Dashain Festival in Nepal article. If you have any feedback, please feel free to leave a comment.

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Dashain Festival in Nepal
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Suraj is a travel enthusiast who believes in finding solace in the heart of nature. He enjoys exploring new destinations, different culture, and encouraging people to travel.

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