Today marks the initiation of Navaratri, a nine-night festival also known as Bada Dashain, which holds great significance for Hindus in Nepal. Ghatasthapana, the initial day of Bada Dashain, falls on the first day of the bright half of the lunar calendar month Asoj or Kartik, specifically Ashwin Shukla Pratipada. According to the Nepal Calendar Determination Committee, the auspicious time for Ghatasthapana this year is set at 11:29 a.m.
Ghatasthapana is the auspicious day when we plant “Jamara” at our house, a sacred place is prepared inside the house where soils are kept and seeds of barley, maize, paddy, and other crops are sowed. For the next nine days that place is worshiped and finally, on the tenth day, the germinations from those seeds are used in worship and given to youngsters by elders as a sign of blessings and love.
Navaratra, or Navaratri Parva, a festival dedicated to the Hindu goddess Nawadurga also starts today and spans nine nights, with each night devoted to the goddess under her various names. The festival begins with the worship of Shailaputri and proceeds with reverence for deities such as Bhramacharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skandamata, Katyayani, Kalarati, Mahagauri, and Siddhirati.
The Committee has also announced that the auspicious time for bringing Dhashain Phulpati home is 9:35 a.m. on October 21, and for the application of the Dashain tika, it is 11:02 a.m. on October 24. Traditionally, the Dashain tika exchange ceremonies continue until Kojagrat Purnima, which falls on the fifth day after Dashain tika day.
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