Bada Dashain festival begins

Bada Dashain festival begins

Dashain Festival

“Navaratri Parba” or the nine-night festival of Bada Dashain, the great festival of the Hindus of Nepal, commenced from sunday.

The first day of Bada Dashain festival is called “Ghatasthapana” that falls on Aswin Shukla Pratipada, the first day of the bright half of the lunar calendar in the month of Asoj.

On the day of Ghatasthapana, all Nepalis worship Diyo (an oil-fed lamp), Kalas (auspicious jar) and lord Ganesh in accordance with Vedic rituals and sow maize and barley seeds in a jar filled with soil and cow dung for germination of the auspicious Jamara (barley shoots). The auspicious hour for observing Ghatasthapana is 07:15 am today, according to Nepal Calendar Determination Committee.

Dashain-2019

Prayers are also offered to Durga Bhavani, the goddess of power today. Germination of the auspicious “Jamara” is also initiated at Hanumandhoka Dashain Ghar in accordance with Vedic rituals, today.

There is also a tradition of sacrificing animals while initiating the germination of the “Jamara”.

Also today, prayers are offered to goddess Mahakali, Mahalaxmi and Mahasaraswati at the Dashain Ghar, marking the beginning of the Navaratri (nine nights).

The golden barley shoots and the auspicious Tika are given by parents to their children and by elders to their juniors on the tenth day of the Bada Dashain festival with blessings for peace, progress and prosperity. The auspicious hour for receiving Tika this year is 09:51 am on October 19, according to the Committee Chair Dr Ram Chandra Gautam.

Dashain Tika

During the Navaratri, thousands of devotees visit Naxal Bhagawati, Shobha Bhagawati, Maitidevi, Guheswori, Bhadrakali, Kalikasthan, Sankata, Mahankalsthan, Naradevi, Bijayeswori, Indrayani, Dakshinkali, Chamunda and other shrines of goddess Durga Bhavani in the early morning.

People also recite sacred verses and hymns dedicated to Durga Bhawani at temples and shrines as well as at their homes throughout the Dashain period.

Majority of the educational and academic institutions start Dashain holidays effective today. The public holiday unlike the past to mark the Ghatasthapana has been deducted from this year.

Dashain

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Changing Trends in Teej Celebration

Changing Trends in Teej Celebration
People throng Pashupati Temple for Teej festival

People throng Pashupati Temple for Teej festival

“Teejko lahar aayo bari lai
Teejko lahar aayo bari lai …..”

Every year as the festival of Teej — arguably the most important festival for Hindu women — approaches, women and girls get pumped up and gather to celebrate.

Dancing to the aforementioned tune was a group of women, clad in red and green saris and kurtas, on Monday at the ‘Dar Eating Program’ at Amrapali Banquet, Naxal. These women were friends, colleagues and acquaintances, who had taken their time off to come out and celebrate the spirit of Teej.

As Teej neared, to be celebrated nation-wide on August 24 this year, streets of Kathmandu were crowded by women and girls wearing red saris and attractive jewelries. Previously considered a one-day affair, women of various age-groups these days gather in banquets to eat Dar weeks before the day of Teej.

Women sing and dance at Pashupatinath Temple during the Teej festival in Kathmandu

Women sing and dance at Pashupatinath Temple during the Teej festival in Kathmandu The three-day festival, commemorating the union of Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva, involves sumptuous feasts and rigid fasting. Hindu women pray for marital bliss, the well-being of their spouses and children, and the purification of their own bodies and souls during this period of religious fasting.

Dar is a name given to the meal consumed by women a day before the day of Teej, particularly because they are to observe fast, without even drinking a single drop of water, the following day.

Dar comprises of protein and carbohydrate-rich food, which when consumed in ample amount would fill for the hungry stomachs the following day as women observe fast until sundown. Hindu married women believe that fasting on the day of Teej will provide longevity to their husbands. In case of unmarried women, the fast is believed to earn them a suitable match.

Singing and dancing at pashupatinath temple.

Singing and dancing at pashupatinath temple.

Popularity of Banquets and event halls
The tradition of Teej and Dar, however, has adapted a few changes over the years. Dar eating programs are organized in banquets and halls, outside the borders of family home and relationships. Banquets and event halls, undeniably, have benefitted hugely from this trend. Apart from the wedding season, these kinds of events earn them ample revenue.

Ishara Koirala, a master’s student at Ratna Rajya Laxmi Campus, said such programs were good excuses for women to take some time off and socialize. Perhaps the tradition has after all not changed much as compared to old times when women used to gather around Pati and Pauwa and sing both happy and sad verses in relations to their lives. “These events are not much different from what used to be, since women get to catch up with their counterparts, relax and socialize,” remarked Koirala.

HAPPY TEEJ FESTIVAL IN NEPAL

HAPPY TEEJ FESTIVAL IN NEPAL

Forty-year-old Bishnu Lama, who owns a canteen in Sundhara, recalled a recent invite to Yak Party Palace, Pulchowk for Dar and shared that it was fun as well as relaxing to be at a place away from daily-life nuances.

Previously, Bishnu would organize Dar eating program at her house. She used to cook a variety of dishes for her relatives and friends. Though the food items remained the same, she said, going to the banquet reduced half her efforts. “Giving responsibility to catering services and banquet halls to arrange the food along with the venue reduced half of the pressure off our heads.”

Changing fasting culture
Changes are evident not only when it comes to how and where these Dar programs are being organized, but also how the fasting culture is observed.

“Fasting culture, over the years, has changed,” remarked 86-year-old Aruna Pokharel. She lives in Baneshwor and was visiting Mahadevsthan Temple of Koteshwor on Monday. She is a regular visitor to the temple. “When I was young and able, I would fast every Monday during the month of Shrawan and in Teej. I would start my Teej fast with a small puja, eat nothing, not even a single drop of water, and break my fast only after sundown,” said Aruna.

However, with passing years, she has observed a big difference in the way women, especially younger ones, observe fasting in Teej. Referencing to Purnima, her 19-year-old granddaughter, who had followed her to the temple, she said, “My granddaughter fasts only if she feels like it and my daughter-in-law eats fruits throughout the day even when she is ‘technically fasting’.”

Teej Festival - Hari Talika

Teej Festival – Hari Talika

Sometimes, Aruna gets exasperated by how lenient her family members have become in terms of following age-old rituals. “I tell them periodically that rituals are not to be meddled with, but they don’t listen to me. If you are going to fast anyway, why not do it right?”

Undeniably, the norms behind fasting have changed. Growing up, one can find varied narratives being provided to girls and women regarding the fasting tradition. While a working sister-in-law may eat a few fruits during the fast, stay-at-home moms preach stronger guidelines on how to be religious and thorough about it. Some say avoiding salt and vegetables work as a fine substitute, while others insist complete abstinence from eating and drinking.

Purnima argued, “If fasting is all about staying pure and showing my devotion to God, I can do that by eating as well. No amount of spiritual bliss received through fasting overcomes a hangry (hungry and angry) state if I am to work under a deadline and be productive throughout the day.”

Source: Myrepublica

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Janai Purnima Festival

Janai Purnima Festival
Janai Purnima

A toddler gets her wrist colourful with doro (Hindu’s traditional threads of different colours) from a Pandit (Hindu Priest) celebrating Janai Poornima

The tagadharis or those who wear the ‘Janai’ (the sacred thread) around their bodies from the left shoulder change the sacred thread on Tuesday after having a haircut and a bath on the occasion of ‘Janai Purnima’, also known as ‘Rishi Tarpani’.

This festival observed by the Hindus, especially of the Shaiva sect, on the full moon day in the Nepali month of Saun is also popularly known as ‘Gunhu Punhi’ in the Newar community.

According to the time-honoured tradition, the people receive the ‘Rakshya Bandhan’ thread, which is tied around the wrist as an amulet. The yellow thread is purified through the chanting of mantras by Brahmin priests as a symbol of protection from fear and disease. They also observe the occasion as ‘Kwanti Purnima’.

Kwanti Purnima

Kwanti a soup prepared from nine different beans, is a special delicacy added to the Nepali menu today.

The ‘Kulabarna Tantra’, a Tantrik scripture, says that the soup is highly nutritious and keeps diseases away.

In the Terai region, there is a tradition in which sisters tie an attractive ‘Rakhi’ around the wrist of their brothers wishing them long life and prosperity.

Thousands of devotees worship lord Shiva at Pashupatinath in Kathmandu and at Kumbheswor in Lalitpur and take holy dips in ponds and lakes.

Janai Purnima

People in Pashupatinath Area gather to get Raksha Bandhan tied around their wrists on the occasion of Janai Purnima.

Religious fairs are held at Gosaikunda, an alpine area in Rasuwa District, and at Dansanghu, Triveni in Jumla district to observe the festival with offerings of worship to Lord Shiva. A big religious fair takes place at the Gosaikunda Lake and pilgrims come from faraway places to take a holy dip in this lake and other lakes nearby.

Religious fairs take place today at Pashupati and Manichud of Kathmandu; Gosaikunda of Rasuwa; Kumbheshwar of Lalitpur; Panchpokhari of Sindhupalchowk; Janakpurdham, Dhanush Sagar and Ganga Sagar of Dhanusha; Dansanghu of Jumla and Trivenidham of Nawalparasi.

Janai Purnima

The Buddhists observe this day in commemoration of the day the Lord Gautama Buddha defeated the evil power of lust. This episode is well-described in the Buddhist scripture ‘Lalitbistar’. A special fair takes place at Swayambhunath of Kathmandu today for this reason.

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Guru Purnima

Guru Purnima
Guru Purnima

Happy Guru Purnima

The Guru Purnima festival is being observed throughout the country today by paying reverence to all teachers.

The festival, also marked as Teacher’s Day, is observed on the full moon day in the Nepali month Ashadh as per the lunar calendar.

The day is dedicated to the gurus or one’s teacher who bestows the gayatri mantra for the first time during one’s bratabandh or the sacred thread ceremony, initiates one to reading and writing, reads out the vedic hymns during the religious rituals and other teachers in general.

A schoolgirl applies tika to her teachers during Guru Purnima or Teacher’s day, a festival dedicated to teachers.

Etymologically, the word ‘guru’ is made of two roots ‘gu’ and ‘ru’. Gu means darkness and ru means light. So, the word guru means the person who removes the darkness of ignorance with the light of knowledge as per the tantric and religious texts.

Our religion also sees the teacher as the embodiment of the Hindu triumvirate gods Brahma, Bishnu and Maheshwar. The teacher is also considered as a form of god like one’s parents.

Schools, colleges and various organisations are marking Guru Purnima today by organizing different programmes and paying homage to the teachers.

Happy Guru Purnima

Happy Guru Purnima

Today also commemorates the Vyas Jayanti or the birth anniversary of the sage Ved Byas who wrote the 18 puranas and 18 upapuranas which explain the four vedas.

Through the puranas and the upapuranas, Ved Byas has radiated the message of humanism ‘Propakara punyaya, papaya parapidanam’ which means you earn piety and righteousness through welfare and charity but are cursed if you harm or cause pain to others.

Source: Myrepublica

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Visit Nepal 2020 Campaign entices strong support in 2019 Sales Mission in Zurich, Paris and Brussels

Visit Nepal 2020 Campaign entices strong support in 2019 Sales Mission in Zurich, Paris and Brussels

The Nepal Tourism Board along with leading Nepali Tour Operators organized the Nepal Sales Mission in the major tourist generating cities of Europe: Zurich, Paris and Brussels from 17-21 June, 2019. The Representative of Nepal to the Permanent Mission to the United Nations, H. E. Mani Prasad Bhattarai, the Ambassador of Nepal to France, H. E. Dipak Adhikari, and the Ambassador of Nepal to Belgium, Netherlands and Luxemburg, H. E. Lok Bahadur Thapa delivered the welcome address in Zurich, Paris and Brussels respectively.

The NTB showcased Nepal as much more than just mountains, focusing on the vast cultural, heritage, spiritual, natural aspects of Nepal and elaborated on the enhancements and new tourism products being introduced especially in the VNY2020. Emphasizing that Nepal is characterized by natural and cultural unity and diversity and the unique contrast of tradition and modernity is sure to offer visitors from all over the world a Lifetime Experience.

The audience was enthralled with the multitude of tourism offerings beyond adventure activities and very appreciative of the hiking trail for differently abled in Pokhara and the efforts made by Nepal in doubling the tiger population and conservation and expressed full support for the VNY2020 campaign. The numbers from the Benelux countires have shown a positive growth of over 31% in 2018 and we are confident that the numbers will grow strongly in the coming years. NTB was represented by Ms Nandini Lahe-Thapa, Sr Director – Marketing and Promotion and Mr, Nabin Pokharel, Manager- TMP.

Source: Welcomenepal



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विश्वविख्यात सन्त सुधांशु जी महाराज नेपालमा

विश्वविख्यात सन्त सुधांशु जी महाराज नेपालमा

विश्वविख्यात सन्त एवं विश्व जागृति मिसनका संस्थापक सुधांशु जी महाराज पशुपतिनाथ दर्शनका लागी नेपाल आएका छन । उनका विश्वभर २३ भन्दा वढि देशमा लाखौंको संख्यामा अनुयायीहरु रहेको वताईन्छ । उनको नेतृत्वमा भारतको आनन्दधाम आश्रमले गरिव र अनाथ बच्चाहरुलाई निशुल्क शिक्षा र स्वास्थ्य प्रदान गर्दै आइरहेको छ ।

उनीसंगै उनकी जेठी छोरी तथा प्रख्यात योग गुरु डा.अर्चिका पनि नेपाल आएकी छन । डा.अर्चिकाले यहि जुन १६ देखि २६ सम्म कैलाश मानसरोवरको यात्रा गर्नेछिन । उनले अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय योग दिवसको अवसरमा जुन २१ म कैलाशमा योग शिविर समेत सञ्चालन गर्ने जनाईएको छ ।

विश्वविख्यात सन्त सुधांशु जी महाराज,डा.अर्चिका लगायतको समुहलाई पूर्व उपप्रधानमन्त्री टोपबहादुर रायमाझि,राष्ट्रिय सभा सदस्य खिमलाल भट्ट्राई तथा उनीहरुको यात्रा व्यवस्थापन गरिरहेको सम्राट ट्राभल एण्ड टुर्स प्रा.लि.का अध्यक्ष मुक्तिराम पाण्डेले स्वागत गरे । कार्यक्रममा बोल्दै पूर्व उपप्रधानमन्त्री रायमाझिले नेपाल भारत सम्बन्ध निकै पुरानो भएको र यसलाई समयानुकुल अझ विकसित गर्नुपर्ने वताए । नेपाल अव शान्ति,विकास र सम्बृद्धिको वाटोमा अघि वढिरहेको वताउँदै रायमाझिले यसमा भारतको सहयोग आवश्यक रहेको समेत वताए ।

उनीहरुलाई स्वागत गर्न आयोजित कार्यक्रममा सुधांशु जी महाराजले हिमालयको देश नेपाल विश्वकै मुकुट रहेको वताए । भगवान शिव र जानकी माताको समेत जन्मस्थल भएको वताउँदै उनले नेपाल र पशुपतिनाथको दर्शन गर्न पाउँदा आँफुलाई गौरवको अनुभुति भएको वताए ।

उनीहरुको यात्रा व्यवस्थापन गरिरहेको सम्राट टुर्स एण्ड ट्राभल्सका प्रमुख कार्यकारी अधिकृत तथा नाट्टाका अध्यक्ष सि.एन.पाण्डले महाराजको नेपाल र पशुपतिनाथको दर्शनले विश्वभर नेपालको सन्देश जाने र आगामी दिनमा नेपाल घुम्न आउने धार्मिक पर्यटकहरुको संख्या वढ्ने अपेक्षा व्यक्त गरे । यसले गर्दा सन् २०२० को नेपाल भ्रमण वर्षलाई समेत सहयोग प¥याउने पाण्डले वताए ।

Source: Arthabyapar



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