Written for Guillem Pujol, volunteer at Bhimphedi Children Home’s
In the month of october takes place the biggest festival in the nepalese annual calendar, Dashain . It is celebrated all over nepal, just like Christmas in our country. But what is the story behind this festival?
This commemorates the victories of the gods against the demonds. One of the reasons of this tradition is because god Rama killed Ravana, the boss of the demonds. But he didn’t do it alone , since he was helped by de goddess Durga. who was the one who overcame the demond.
That is why the first days of the Dashain symbolize the fight between deities. Now, the goddess Durga is adorated like the deceased mother, offerings and sacrificies are made in her name.
During these days, everyone travels the necessary miles to meet at the family home and spend all these days together offering diferent things and making rituals for Durga and all her manifestations. For that, the Balmandir family couldn’t be less and we also celebrate Dasahin.
In the dining room everything was ready: a tray with rice mixed with flowers, a tray with pasta for tika- rice, coloring and yogurt- and only sprouds were lacking.
According to tradition, the oldest people of the family put tika to younger relatives to bless them abundantly in the coming years and give them Dakshina (a small amount of money), along with blessings. So Didi Maya started: she first took flowers and, as if she was baptizing, she scattered a little water over her heads. Then he tossed some rice with flowers on top and put the tika on the forehead, between the eyebrow and the eyebrow (where there is the third eye). Finally, they gave them a germ sprout wrapped in money. This was done one child at a time, from the smallest to the oldest. And the great surprise was that she also did it to us! Then it was the turn of Surendra and finally, the Didi Belly.
During these holidays other rituals are also made, such as animal sacrifices. Normally we only eat “mass” (meat) on Saturdays night, which is the holiday day of the week. But during the days of Dashain “massu” is quite present in each meal. And the surprise was yesterday morning when Surendra arrived at the center with an unknown man . He had expressly come to sacrifice one of a goat, previously bought by Kush, a young boy from Balmandir.
We went wherever they were doing the ritual and, Basu helped by Ram under the eyes of the children of the house, began to peel the goat, clean it, spread it with an orange paste (which for what they have explained is to conserve and to give flavor) and to squash it. After removing the different viscera, the children helped to clean them.
The next day came the members of the Nepal Children’s Organization to put the tika and all together we took some pictures in the garden of the house.