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Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Dashain Festival (Hindu's Festival)
Dashain (दशैं) is the 15-day national festival of Nepal, and a state festival of Indian states of Sikkim and the Darjeeling district of West Bengal. It is also a national holiday in Bhutan. Now it is celebrated all around the world by the Nepalese diaspora. The festival falls around September-October, after the rice harvest. This festival is known for emphasis on family gatherings, as well as on a renewal of community ties. People will return from all parts of the world, as well as different parts of the country, to celebrate together.
On the tenth day, "Dashami," a mixture of rice, yogurt and vermillion will be prepared by the women. This preparation is known as "tika". Elders put this on the forehead of younger relatives to bless them with fertility and abundance in the upcoming year. The red also symbolizes the blood that ties the family together. Elders will give "dakshina", or a small amount of money, to younger relatives at this time. The tika continues for five days, during which time people also gather to play cards around massive amounts of food and drink.