Sunday, October 17, 2010
I attended the Dashain festival at the Franklin side on the north side of Syracuse. The Bhutanese/Nepalese community, recent arrivals to the Central New York region, celebrated Deshain: the longest and the most important festival of Nepal. Generally Dashain falls in late September to mid October, right after the monsoon season, a day of Victory over Demons.
According to the legend, the bloodthirsty Goddess, Durga conquered evils on the Dashain day. Huge amount of animal sacrifices take place during the festival in temples and in home to please the Goddess Durga. Some people may take such animal sacrifices negatively but they might forget how they came by their meat on their plate! There are lots of western countries consuming mass amount of meat, animals are slaughtered in factories by the hundreds and thousands. The final day of the festival is known as `Tika', a day on which the elder ones give `Tika' to the younger ones and to other relatives who come for their blessings.
The main celebration glorifies the triumph of good over evil in a ten day ritual to celebrate the positive karma over the bad. Yesterday, I watched dancing and ate traditional foods, all while hearing immense appreciation for their place in a new country.