Dashain begins today


KATHMANDU, Sept 29: Dashain, the biggest festival of Hindus devotees of Nepal, has begun today with people observing Ghatasthapana. The day falls on Aswin Sukla Pradipada, the first day of the bright half of the lunar Nepali calendar, and marks the beginning of the ten-day festival.

On this day, a Kalash is placed in the center a rectangular sand block, which is purified performing a special ritual, inside the house. Seeds of barley, maize and wheat are sown in the square, which is kept away from direct sunlight for nine days. The Kalash, which is considered a symbol of goddess Durga, is kept in the center of the square.

The sown seeds germinate into jamara, which is taken out on Bijaya Dashimi and offered to younger relatives along with tika and blessings.

The auspicious time for sowing jamara was 10: 30 am today, according to the Panchanga Nirnayak Samiti.

On the occasion, jamara was sown at the Dashain Ghar in Hanuman Dhoka amid a special function.

Ghatasthapana also marks the beginning of Navaratri, nine nights of Dashain.

Photos: Mukunda Kalikote