KATHMANDU: Bada Dashain, the greatest and longest festival of Nepali Hindus, has begun with Ghatasthapana today.
Ghatasthapana, the first day of Navaratri Parba or the nine-night festival of Bada Dashain, falls on Ashwin Shukla Pratipada. Ghatasthapana is observed by Hindu devotees by performing puja and setting up ghada or pot, in which they sow seeds of barley, wheat, corn and rice, at homes and temples in accordance with Vedic tradition.
The sprouted seedlings are called jamara. These are offered along with tika on the 10th day, which is observed as Vijaya Dashami.
According to a schedule released by Nepal Panchanga Nirnayak Samiti, 11:46 am is the auspicious time for Ghatasthapana.
This year’s Pachali Bhairav Jatra will be celebrated on October 21. The auspicious time for the procession of goddess Sri Tulaja Bhavani has been set for 8:56 am on October 23 and the deity will be put in the resting mode at 10:14 am the same day when Fulpati is observed. On this very day, Fulpati will be brought to the Dashain Ghar at Hanumandhoka.
NPNS said there is no need to wait for an auspicious time to bring in Fulpati.
October 24 will mark Mahaashtami along with Kalratri puja on the same night. Mahanavami will be celebrated on October 25 and Vijaya Dashami on October 26.
Though tika can be received and offered from the day of Vijaya Dashami to Kojagrat Purnima, the most auspicious time for receiving and offering tika is 10:19 am on Vijaya Dashami. According to popular Hindu myth, Goddess Durga had killed demon king Mahishasur on Mahanavami and thus Vijaya Dashami symbolises the victory of good over evil. The government has appealed to the people to celebrate the festival in low-key manner and shun unnecessary travel, citing the COVID-19 pandemic.
A version of this article appears in print on October 17, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.