Dashain: Celebration of good over evil

The most anticipated and auspicious festival in Nepal, Dashain, is when people return from different parts of the country and world to their families for celebration.

28, Sep 2022 | nepaltraveller.com

Dashain, celebrated for 15 days, is a major festival in Nepal that falls in September/October.

Dashain or Bada Dashain, also referred to as Vijaya Dashami, is a major festival celebrated by Hindu Origin Nepalese worldwide. The festival is also known as “Nauratha”, derived from the Sanskrit word, which literally translates to nine nights. 

The festival falls in late September and early October, starting from the shukla paksha (bright lunar night) on the month of Ashwin and ending in purnima ( full moon). It is the most anticipated and auspicious festival in Nepal, where people return from different parts of the country and world to their family for celebration. The weather is very favorable to celebrate this auspicious occasion, where autumn creates a festive vibes along with balanced temperature. It is also the longest Nepalese Hindus festival which is celebrated for 15 days. Among this fifteen days, the most important days are the first, seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth and fifteenth.

Significance of Dashain Festival in Nepal

Based on Hindu scripture, Dashain symbolises the victory of good over evil. It honours Goddess Durga, the universal goddess who battled Mahisasur demon for ten days to release the Devaloka from demons’ terror. So, the first nine days are the battle days and the tenth day is the victory day. After that, the last five days of the festival are the celebration of the victory.


Fulpati, an assortment of flowers, leaves and fruits of different auspicious plants, is anointed at Dashain Ghar in Hanuman Dhoka. Usually, during fulpati, people start to clean and decorate their houses for the festivities. Traditionally, on this day, the royal Kalash, banana stalks, jamara, and sugar cane tied with red cloth is brought from Gorkha to Kathmandu. 

Likewise, the parade is held in Tudikhel(Kathmandu) which is observed by the honorable President and other officials. This parade is organised by the Nepalese Army along with a majestic display for ten to fifteen minutes after the fulpati arrives from Gorkha. After the ceremony at Tudikhel, the fulpati is anointed to Hanuman Dhoka.

Maha Ashtami

The eighth day of Dashain is called Maha Asthami. This is the day when the most fierce of Goddess Durga’s manifestations, the bloodthirsty Kali, is appeased through the sacrifice of buffaloes, goats, hens, and ducks in temples and houses throughout the nation. And the body is rotated around the temple and houses and the head is offered to the Goddess symbolises fertility. The night of this day is called Kal Ratri (Black Night). After the offering of the head and blood, the meat is taken home and cooked  as “Prasad”, or the food blessed by divinity.

Maha Navami

The ninth day of the Dashain is referred to as Maha Navami, which is also the last day of Navaratri. On this occasion, the state offers sacrifices of buffaloes under a gunfire salute. This is also known as the demons’ haunting day because an army of demons hide inside the bodies of animals and fowls. 

On this day all the machinery and metal items like bikes, cars, bus, knife, khukuri  etc  are worshiped to avoid accidents in the future. Likewise,once in a year, this is the day when the Taleju Temple at Basantapur opens its gates for the general public.

Vijaya Dashami

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The tenth day of the Dashain is known as Vijaya Dashami. On this day, the elder members of the family (chronologically) put Tika (mixture of rice, yogurt, and sugar) and Jamara ( sacred yellow grass) and also give blessings with Dakshina (money and gifts) to their younger ones. 

Younger relatives travel to their elder relatives’ houses to put Tika and get blessings. This continues for five days till the full moon. After the Tika, they offer varieties of delicious foods to their guests. In some cultures, family members perform their local or traditional dances together.

Kojagrat Purnima

The last day of the Dashain, which falls on the full moon day, is called Kojagrat Purnima. The celebration of the festival starts from “ Ghatasthapana “and ends on this day. The actual meaning of “Kojagrat” is “who is awake”. There is a myth that if you are awake all night in Kojagrat Purnima, then the Goddess of Wealth, Laxmi, will shower wealth and prosperity to the devotees. People stay awake on this full moon night by playing cards, singing, dancing and much more.

:Text By: Utsav Pun

 Also Read:

Top 5 Shopping Destinations In Kathmandu For Dashain 2020

 Ghatasthapana – Commencement Of Dashain

 Dashain: A Fifteen-Day Glimpse Into Nepal

5 Places To Visit This Dashain

Chaite Dashain Celebrates The Victory Of Good Over Evil 


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