Kathmandu [Nepal], October 7 (ANI): The Hindu community in Nepal planted barley in a jar filled with soil and cow dung for germination of "Jamara" (barley shoots) on Thursday to mark the formal start of Dashain, also known as Bada Dashain.
The nine-day festival of Bada Dashain is the longest festival observed by Hindus in Nepal. During the festival, a jar of 'Jamara' is placed on the sacred corner of the houses for nine days and taken out on the tenth day. It is then worn along with Tika on the forehead. Similarly, Diyo (an oil-fed lamp), Kalash (auspicious jar) and Lord Ganesh are kept in the corner in accordance with Vedic rituals.
Following the age-old tradition, the Dashain Ghar inside Basantapur Durbar Square also implanted barley shoots on auspicious time fixed at 11:46 am (Local Time).
"In the auspicious hours, we have kept the Diyo, Kalash and Ganesh and implanted the barley and worshipped Goddess Mahakali, Maha Laxmi, Maha Saraswati, Bhagwati. In this Hanuman Dhoka, Dashain Ghar, tradition has continued for ages." Dev Raj Aryal, the chief priest of Dashain Ghar inside Basantapur Durbar Square in Kathmandu told ANI.
"When Prithivi Narayan Shah (founding father of modern Nepal) attacked and concurred Kathmandu- Kirtipur then he worshipped Maha Kali, Maha Saraswati and Maha Durga by bringing a symbolized form of Bhagwati from Gorkha Durbar. Since then, the tradition of worshipping the Shree Mahakali, Maha Laxmi, Maha Saraswati and Bhagwati here at Dashain Ghar," added the chief priest.
As per the beliefs, Lord Ram had put on Jamara and went on to fight with devils and was victorious. In order to celebrate the victory, Hindu pilgrims worship Durga Devi from Ghatasthapana to Navaratra and put on the Tika on the tenth day.
The Jamara or barley shoots sowed on the first day of the marathon festival has health benefits and are used for homoeopathic treatment and fitness.
Also called Navaratri, the festival draws thousands of devotees to various Shaktipeeths such as 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. The majority of the educational and academic institutions start the Dashain holidays effectively today. (ANI)