Bada Dashain

It is truly the national festival of Nepal.  Every Nepai is stirred by the prospects of the joy this festival is supposed to bring with it.  The change of mood is also induced psychologically by the turn off autumn season after blue sky and a green carpet of fields.  The climate is also put ideal at this time, it neither being too cold nor too warm.  The Nepalese cherish their Dashain as a time for eating well and dressing well.  The whole festival lasts a total of ten days.  The first nine days are devoted to worship the goddess Durga Bhavani and her diverse manifestations.  Each house also sets up a shrine to worship the goddess at this time.  Barley seeds are planted on the first day in every household and nurtured for nine days.  During the nine days goddess Durga Bhavani is worshipped and offered a lot of blood sacrifice.  Buffaloes, goats and chickens are killed in thousands at the temples, at military posts and in every household.  One of the main centres that witnesses the animal sacrifice in a large scale at this time is the Hanuman Dhoka Palace on the night of the eighth day and the morning of the ninth.  On the concluding day of the festival called the tika, the elders of the family give tika to their junior members and to other relatives who may also come to seek their blessing.  The fresh shoots of the barley known as 'Jamara' are also given to wear.  Family feasting and feasting of guests is a common practice at this time.