Dashain(Nepalese: दशैंDaśãi, also Baḍādaśãiबदशैं) is a 15-day Nepalese festival, similar to the Chinese Spring Festival. The Dasain is the largest and longest festival in Nepal. It is held every year in June of the Nepalese calendar (from September to October in the Gregorian calendar). In 2021, Dashain falls on Oct. 13th.
This Nepali festival lasts for fifteen days, and the most important days are the first, seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth days. The night of the ninth day is called the "Night of Dashain". The tenth day is called "the 10th day of victory." The public holidays are usually 7 days. All government offices, educational institutions, and other departments will remain closed during the holiday season.
In addition, Dashain is also a happy time for family gatherings as it's just before the autumn harvest when Nepalese celebrate the fertility of the land and the harvest of the year. Therefore this festival is also considered to have the effect of emphasizing family reunion and alleviating social conflicts.
Playing cards is another way to celebrate Dashain. The adults of the family get together and spend the whole day playing cards and joking with each other.
Playing on the swings, called “ping” in Nepali, is one of the most popular entertainment activities during the Dasain. Many people will place the swings by the lake or under the snow-capped mountains, extremely appealing.
Flying kites is considered a way to remind the gods not to rain anymore. You can see people of all ages flying kites on their roofs. Kites of different shapes and colors fly in the sky and the cheerful laughter of "Changa cheit" echoes in the air (this phrase in Nepali is usually used when one person successfully cuts off the other's kite).
Shopping and dressing in new clothes are an important part of the festival celebration. Many Nepalese live in rural areas and their families are not wealthy. They only buy new clothes at the Dashain. In addition, almost all stores across the country have holiday offers and discounts, which are more attractive to shoppers. Clothes are the item with the highest sales during the holiday season.
Riding Ferris wheels and swings are usual forms to entertain the public in small fairs. In cities, there are usually business exhibitions and celebrations.
During the Dashain Festival, the slaughter of animals is legal to commemorate the bloody battle between the "god" and the "demon". Tens of thousands of animals, including buffaloes, goats, ducks, and chickens, are slaughtered every year in Dashain. This has been regarded as an important traditional ritual and is believed to appease the wrath of the goddess. Almost all temples, especially the Durga and Kali temples, will carry out living sacrifices. On Asthami and Navami two days, the sacrifice reaches its peak. Not only religiously, but also secularly, living sacrifices are also of great significance. People get the meat they need during the festival.
The Timetable of Dashain Festivals
Nepali Dashain 2017 falls on Oct.1st
Dashain 2019 Nepal falls on Oct.9th
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