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Victory over Evil- A Celebration

 The last three days after “Phulpati”, festival during Dashain are called Maha Asthami, Maha Navami and Bijaya Dashami.


“Maha Asthami “ is observed on the 8th day after “Phulpati”. The custom of offering sacrifice of animals is fundamental to Hinduism. And likewise, on this day it is customary for buffaloes to be sacrificed in temples in Nepal. Blood is very symbolic to the worship of “Kali”, another manifestation of Goddess Durga. The night of this auspicious day is called “Kal Ratri”,a dark night to appease the fierce Goddess “Kali” by offering her sacrifice.

 

“Maha Navami” follows the next day after “Maha Asthami”.  This 9th day of festival is very significant as it honors the victory of Goddess “ Durga” over the evil demon “Mahisasur” after 9 days of ruthless battle. This day is also known as “Viswakarma” puja day since god “ Viswakarma”, the creator is worshipped on this day as well. Tools, vehicles, weapons and any other form of equipments used by artisans, mechanics, drivers, craftsmen are worshipped to avoid any accidents and ill happenings in the year ahead.

 

The 10th day of the festival is the much awaited “Dashain” day also known as “Bijaya Dashami”. Commonly known to the Nepalese as “Tika”, it is a day when elders put tika on the forehead of younger family members and relatives and bless them.” Tika” on this occasion is made up of a mixture of rice, vermilion, usually scarlet in color and yogurt. This sticky mixture is put on the forehead of the recipient by an elder in the family. Then, the “jamara”, few blades of barley are offered as well. The younger family member or relative touches the feet of the elder or bows down and shows respect. It is customary on that day for elders to offer “dakshina”, a small amount of money as a gift after putting the “tika”. A great feast takes place on that day accompanied by singing, dancing and merry making. “Bijaya Dashami” and the festival of “tika” lasts for 5 days until full moon. This time period is often seem as the only time of the year when relatives and family members make it mandatory to visit their loved ones.

 

This beautiful festival is what keeps the bond of family and relations together. Such is the victor of evil by goodness and faith in “Dashain”.

 

 




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