Kathmandu: Bada Dashain or Navaratri Parva (nine-night festival), one of the major festivals of the Hindus, has begun from today.
Ghatasthapana, the first day of Bada Dashain festival, falls on Ashwin Shukla Pratipada which is the first day of the bright half of the lunar calendar in the month of Ashwin.
On the day of Ghatasthapana, all Nepali Hindus worship Lord Ganesh, Diyo (an oil-fed lamp) and Kalash (auspicious jar) and following Vedic rituals and sow maize and barley seeds in a jar filled with soil and cow dung for germination of the auspicious Jamara (maize and barley seedlings).
On the occasion of Ghatasthapana, prayers are also offered to Durga Bhawani, the Goddess of power. Germination of the auspicious Jamara is also initiated at Hanumandhoka Dashain Ghar following Vedic rituals, on Ghatasthapana Day. Moreover, prayers are offered to Goddess Mahakali, Mahalaxmi and Mahasaraswati at the Dashain Ghar to mark the beginning of the Navaratri Parva.
There is also a tradition of sacrificing animals while initiating the germination of the “Jamara”.
The elder persons offer the Jamara and Tika (mixture of vermillion powder and rice grains) along with blessings for peace, progress and prosperity to the younger members of the family and other relatives, on Vijaya Dashami, the tenth day of the Bada Dashain festival.
This year, the auspicious time for receiving Tika is 10:02 am, on October 15, according to NPNS.
During the festival, thousands of devotees and revellers visit various temples including Naxal Bhagawati, Shobha Bhagawati, Maitidevi, Guhyeshwori, Bhadrakali, Kalikasthan, Sankata, Mahankalsthan, Naradevi, Bijayeshwori, Indrayani, Dakshinkali, Chamunda and other shrines of Goddess Durga Bhawani in the early morning.
Hindu devotees also recite sacred verses dedicated to Durga Bhawani at temples and shrines and their homes throughout the 10-day festival.