October 7: Navaratri Parba or the nine-night festival of Bada Dashain, the biggest festival of Hindus in Nepal, has commenced from today (October 7).
The first day of Bada Dashain festival is called "Ghatasthapana" that falls on the first day of the bright half of the lunar calendar in the month of Ashwin (mid-September to mid-October).
On the day of Ghatasthapana, all Hindus in Nepal worship an oil-fed lamp (Diyo), an auspicious jar (Kakash) and Lord Ganesh in accordance with Vedic rituals and sow barley seeds in a jar filled with sand and cow dung for germination of the auspicious barley shoots known as Jamara.
The auspicious time for observing Ghatasthapana is 11:46 am today (October 7), according to Nepal Calendar Determination Committee.
Prayers are also offered to Durga Bhavani, the goddess of power throughout the ten days of Dashain festival. Germination of the auspicious "Jamara" is also initiated at the Dashain Ghar of the Malla-era palace in Hanumandhoka in accordance with Vedic rituals, today. There is also a tradition of sacrificing animals while initiating the germination of "Jamara".
Also today, prayers are offered to goddess Mahakali, Mahalaxmi and Mahasaraswati at the Dashain Ghar, marking the beginning of the nine nights of Navaratri.
The barley shoots and the auspicious Tika are given by parents to their children and by elders to their juniors on the tenth day of the Bada Dashain festival with blessings for peace, progress and prosperity.
The auspicious hour for receiving Tika and blessings this year is 10:02 am on October 15, according to the Committee Chair Srikrishna Adhikari.
During the Navaratri, thousands of devotees visit Naxal Bhagawati, Shobha Bhagawati, Maitidevi, Guheswori, Bhadrakali, Kalikasthan, Sankata, Mahankalsthan, Naradevi, Bijayeswori, Indrayani, Dakshinkali, Chamunda and other shrines of goddess Durga Bhavani early in the morning.
People also recite sacred verses and hymns dedicated to Durga Bhawani at temples and shrines as well as at their homes throughout the Dashain festival.
This festival is celebrated with family reunion as people from across the country as well as abroad return home en masse to receive blessings from their elders.People buy new clothes especially during this festival while business flourishes at this period of year.
Children also fly kites during Dashain as a symbolic message to Lord Indra, the god of rain and good harvest, to stop rainfall. Another special feature of the Dashain festival is playing swing built especially for this festival. There is a general belief that people must leave the ground at least once a year and so swings are set up during Dashain.
(Based on report published by RSS)