How Dashain was – The Himalayan Times – Nepal’s No.1 English Daily Newspaper
KATMANDU, OCTOBER 04
Dashain is the main festival of the Nepalese, and it symbolizes the victory of good over evil. The festival takes place in September or October, starting with Shukla Paksha (bright lunar night) and ending with Purnima (full moon).
Preparations for the Dashain celebrations started with crowds of people shopping in Ason and Indrachowk. However, the charm and cheerfulness has waned somewhat in recent times, largely because many of us have lost loved ones or supporters to the COVID-19 pandemic and also due to modernization. .
Dashain is a highly anticipated festival as it is the only time we tend to go back to our villages to be with our family members and loved ones for some kind of reunion.
Dashain is a time of rejoicing when we come together to have a wonderful time, says Juliyana Shah of Koteshwor.
“However, I don’t feel the same kind of excitement these days. There would be kites flying in the sky, swings on the ground, and Dashain had a different vibe 10-15 years ago, but the situation is different now, ”Shah said.
“Rather than being a festival to receive blessings from our elders, Dashain became an occasion to show off and lost its essence.”
When I was in school, the level of happiness and excitement was different. Plans to buy new clothes are long gone. Kids today aren’t as enthusiastic about new clothes as they used to be. Maybe it’s because people shop and travel when they feel like it.
And I think all the kids of the 90s remember that. We used to give out greeting cards to our friends at school by borrowing money from our parents. Many of us still have a collection today.
In the villages, people were busy coating their houses with red mud, preparing threshed rice, exchanging new banknotes, erecting swings in the fields, and playing langur burja, a dice game.
My grandmother says that so much effort went into preparing for the Dashain festival, as it required money and food for the guests, which was scarce in the villages at the time.
Today, when I remember those moments, I feel nostalgic. There is no excitement, no planning. I celebrate Dashain for the sake of celebrating.
Seeing how the festival celebration model has changed over the years sometimes makes me tense. So people should think about how we should celebrate Dashain and other festivals in a changed context, and how we can pass on tradition and cultural values to our children and grandchildren. Dashain is our ancestors’ gift to us, and we should celebrate it in our unique way.
A version of this article appears in the October 5, 2021 print of The Himalayan Times.