Celebrating Dashain in Nepal

dasaintika.jpg

Dashain is a 15 day long national Hindu festival celebrated all over Nepal. The festival celebrates the victories of the gods and goddesses over the demons. For details please

read here

.

The celebration entails family gatherings, praying to Goddess Durga, animal (goat, ducks, chicken, buffalo etc) sacrifices to the Goddess, playing cards, and eating eating eating. From the 10th-15th day of the festival everyone is usually busy receiving tika (mixture of rice, yogurt, and vermillion as shown on the picture) and blessings from the elders.

The grass on my head is called "jamara" - home grown barley sprouts. Once the 

tika

and

jamara

is put, young ones will bow down to elders for blessings and

dakshina

(small sum of money). 

Every family has their own tradition when it comes to celebrating Dasain but it revolves mainly around family, cards, kite flying, and food (generally meat related dishes). In addition to 

all the wedding food

, I ate a lot of goat meat + rice while I was in Nepal.

On the 8th day of Dasain (Maha Asthami), hundreds of thousands of buffaloes, goats, pigeons and ducks etc are sacrificed in most temples and homes throughout the nation. 

On the 9th day, Vishwakarma, the god of creativeness is worshipped; craftsman and mechanics will worship and offer animals to their tools and machines. It is also believed that worshiping your vehicles on this day will avoid accidents all year long. 

Variety of snacks are prepared at home - sel (donut look-alikes made with rice flour and deep fried in ghee) is a MUST. Once tika ceremony is over, everyone sits around a table to enjoy a large meal with their hand. 

Notice the stainless steel utensils. Since

 Dasain was on Meatless Monday, I opted for my mom's

soy nugget curry

instead of goat. 

Desserts are obvious - even though I am not a big fan of Nepali/Indian desserts, I love fresh jalebis (funnel cake like soaked in sugar syrup).

Celebrating Dasain with family in Nepal after eight years of being away was truly enjoyable and I really hope I get to do this more often.

So, friends what are your thoughts about Dasain?

See you with a guest on

Fitness Friday