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    Dashain Festival in 2024

    Balaram Thapa
    Balaram ThapaUpdated: May 31st 2024  |  Festival

    Nepal is home to nearly 142 unique groups of people. Each group has its own way of life, beliefs, and special events, with each celebrating their own holidays. The most widely celebrated festival across Nepal is "The Dashain Festival."

    The dates vary every year. In 2024, it kicks off on October 3rd and wraps up on October 12th. As per the Nepali Calendar, the Dashain Festival runs from the 17th to the 26th of Ashwin 2081 BS.

    If you ask any random Nepali to explain the Dashain Festival, you’ll get many replies, but the one common reply would be “Re-united.” During the festival, families are reunited, gathered around the house, and celebrated with many Nepalese cuisines. The festival radiates a sort of happiness and glee all over the country. Each and every one of the Nepalese celebrates Dashain with as much excitement every year.

    Dashain tika and jamara
    Dashain: Tika and Jamara

    Why is the Dashain festival celebrated?

    Every festival in Nepal has a story from long ago. This event, based on old Hindu tales, marks the win of good over bad. A long, fierce fight that went on for nine days happened between the goddess Durga and a demon named Mahisasur. This fight was huge, but the strong evil force lost. The goddess beat and killed the demon. On day 10, her win was celebrated. Since that time, people have marked this day as a festival.

    Another story behind the origin is the war between Lord Ram and the Devil, Ravan. The Hindu mythological book Ramayana states that Mother Sita was kidnapped by Ravan, and a gruesome war ensued. Lastly, Lord Ram defeated Ravan, and peace was restored again. This defeat was celebrated in the form of Dashain.

    In short, the festival’s true essence is the victory of good over evil. But it’s also about the unity between families and celebrating this festival with joy. The Dashain festival teaches us that being kind to others always triumphs.

    How do People Celebrate Dashain for Ten days?

    The festival of Dashain is celebrated for ten days. Every day has its own importance and rituals. The first day is known as Ghatasthapana, meaning the cleaning of the prayer room and the decoration of the statue of the Goddess Durga by the family members. Apart from that, the barley seed is sowed in a clay pot, germinating into small grass called "Jamara." It is used on the 10th day of the Dashain festival.

    The 7th day is called Phulpati, when most people go to their hometown, and the roads are usually hectic. Fulpati, an assortment of flowers, leaves, and fruits of different plants considered auspicious, is anointed at Hanuman Dhoka, Kathmandu. On this occasion, people offer Phulpati to Goddess Durga as per tradition throughout the country.

    This year, however, the Maha Ashtami and Nawami lie on the same day, i.e., on 11th October 2024. This day is devoted to Goddess Kali, the most fearful incarnation of Durga. The sacrifice of 54 buffalos and 54 goats is performed on this day in the yard of Kathmandu Durbar Square. The blood is offered to the gods, and the meat is taken home to be cooked for the feast. Each household offers the "Jamara" sown on Ghatasthapana to different shrines and temples. Similarly, security forces perform special pujas of armories as well. '

    The last day of Dashain is called Vijaya Dashami. On this holy day, elders wear tika and distribute "Jamara" to juniors. After wearing the tika, they also give money. These tika are prepared from rice, curd, and red-colored powder. Afterward, families dine together and spend time either playing cards or simply chattering.  

    This is also known as the Festival of Kites. Kids and Adults alike fly kites to depict the end of the monsoon season. The kites are regarded as an important way to remind the rain god not to make it rain anymore. Also during Dashain, people set up high wooden swings in open spaces and grounds. The swing is also known as Linge Ping, as it’s in the shape of Shiva Linga. It is believed that one must leave the ground once a year by swinging on the swing.

    Why is Dashain such a grand festival to Nepalese?

    On Dashain, one can see clear skies, kids running in new clothes, and family members under the same roof. Sounds beautiful, right?

    Faraway friends and families save money, buy gifts, and visit their villages to meet their loved ones. The Dashain festival brings everyone together and forms a sense of harmony. Furthermore, schools and colleges are closed because this is a widely celebrated festival. Having children in the house who are celebrating Dashain is an indescribable feeling.

    In short, the Dashain Festival means buying new clothes, curtains, and furniture, cleaning the house, and feasting delicious meals. Everyone enjoys Dashain, as this festival is enjoyed by all, irrespective of age.

    When is the Dashain Festival in 2024?

    In 2024, the Dashain Festival starts with Ghatasthapana on the 3rd of October. The seventh day, Phulpati will be on the 10th of October. Maha Ashtami and Maha Navami are on the 11th of October, and Vijaya Dashami is on the 12th of October, respectively.  

    This festival is celebrated for the next five days after Vijaya Dashami, Kojagrat Purnima. In those days, the relatives and families visit each other's houses, put on tika, feast, and have a wonderful time.

    Does the festival time affect your travel plans in Nepal?

    Don't worry; Nepal's festivals won't mess up your trip. In fact, they can make it even more amazing! You'll appreciate Nepali culture more deeply while exploring the country's stunning beauty. Without a doubt, the best time to trek is between October and November. Do you know why? The monsoon will have been gone by then, and the skies will be clearer than ever, along with Nepal's biggest festival, Dashain.


    Even the trails would be perfectly dry for hassle-free trekking and mesmerizing mountain views. Whether you want a short hike or choose any one of our trekking packages, the time during Dashain would be perfect. You can also do popular trekking like Annapurna Base Camp Trek, Everest Base Camp Trek and so on during Dashain. So book your next trekking adventure and get mesmerized by the mountains.


    You’ll also get to see the true cultural harmony between people. You can get the Best of Nepal during this time of year. You can see temples and devotees lining up for worship in full swing. The weather and vibes are festive with mantras being chanted all around. The festivities surrounding these temples are not explainable as devotees pay their respect and pray. So, don't hesitate to join a festival time in your travel plans!

    Celebrate this amazing Dashain festival 2024 with the Nepal Hiking Team. We would love to have you with us on this joyful occasion. You will be able to experience Kathmandu's boulevards and see the city through the eyes of Nepalese people based on the vibrant cultural influences.

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