Dashain also called as Vijaya Dasami or Mohani is the Nepali version of Durga Puja, a 15-day long festival celebrated in South Asia for Shaktism. It is celebrated by Hindus in Nepal and other Nepali people of Sikkim, Assam and Darjeeling district in India and among the Lhotshampa of Bhutan and the Burmese Gurkhas of Myanmar. It is the longest and most anticipated, awaited festival celebrated in Nepal, Bhutan, Burma and North Indian hills.
People return from all parts of the world, and country comes to Nepal to celebrate together with their friends and Family. All the government offices, other offices, and educational institutions remain closed during the festival period. The festival falls amidst September – October, starting from the bright lunar fortnight of the month of Ashwin and ending on the full moon. Among the fifteen days on which the festival is celebrated, the most important days are the 1st, 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th.
The Significance of Dashain:
Dashain festival symbolizes the victory of the good over evil. In Hindu mythology, the Demon Mahishasura had created terror in the Devlok but Goddess Durga who is termed to be the most powerful goddess killed the Demon, this is why it is celebrated to rejoice the victory over the evil. The first nine days of Dashain symbolize the fierce battle which took place between Goddess Durga and Mahishasura. The tenth day is when Goddess Durga finally defeated him and hence it is celebrated with more fervor.
Among the Hindus and Buddhist Newars, it is celebrated with slightly different interpretations, where nine days popularly are called as the Navaratri, leading up to the 10th day called ‘Dashami’ carry special importance. Among Newars, Mohani is also important for its emphasis on family gatherings and various other gatherings which are followed by special family dinner called “Nakhtya” and various community processions of deities called “Jatra” are carried out throughout the three royal cities of Kathmandu Valley. For the other Hindus, this festival also symbolizes the victory of Lord Ram over the Demon Ravan as scripted in the Ramayana.
The Significance of Kite Flying during Dashain:
Since Dashain is the longest running festival in Nepal and all the schools, colleges remain closed during this time, it gives children ample time to engage in various recreational activities. During Dashain festival, kids and other people of all ages enjoy kite flying on all the 15 days.
The history goes on saying that during Dashain kites are flown as a very important part of the celebration in the country, as it is one of the ways of reminding God not to send rain anymore. It’s an urge to Lord Indra to halt pouring rain from then on as their crops are now fully grown and don’t need more water. Kite flying during Dashain is also done to bring prosperity to the family. Legends say that flying kites brings good fortune to the family. When you fly kites, you are welcoming the forces of goodness and piousness, and this shall bring good luck to the flyer and his family. There also are small and big tournaments conducted during the festival for flying kite called the flying kite competition.
A few years back it took place in Nagarkot where hundreds of people participated in multiple rounds. The competitors must cut the line of each other’s kites using their own line and be controlling the movement of the kite. This competition of kite’s line-cutting also occurs on the roofs and terraces of every house where kids and people of all ages engage in kite flying and look to win over the sky while competing against other kite fliers. Once the line is cut it people shout out “Changga chet” as a popular slang or term which is typically used when one cuts the other person’s kite string.
Nepali culture of kite flying:
The Nepali kites are typically made of lokta paper, which is mostly hand-made. It is also costly when compared to the regular paper. The Nepali kites do not come with a tail by default, so people must add the tail themselves by using any kind of paper etc. The typical kite flying set consists of the kite, the wooden roll with two spools on each side kept for hand support to control the kite when it is flying, this is called as “Lattai”. Miles and miles of the string/thread are rolled onto the reel of the lattai to facilitate higher kite flying. The string is often equipped with home-made manja, which is a mixture of compressed glass and thick gum. The strength of the string depends on the excellence of the mixture.
“The traditional Nepalese style of kite-flying is attacking, and though the kites look simple, they are strategically designed for bringing down other kites. The motive is to bring your rival’s string in contact with your own string and immediately release the line at high speed,” says Professor Tuladhar who is a kite flying expert from Nepal, sharing the secret to Nepali kite-flying. People of all ages in Nepal have shown an active interest in kite flying since ages and still, the spirit and the zeal continues in the same way and fly kites during any time of the year along with their relatives etc. for past time.
FLY360 Role in Spreading Kite Flying in Nepal:
We at FLY360 are pioneers in kite flying and kite making in India for 25 years and now we would love to spread and enhance this culture across our neighboring borders too. We are truly surprised to see the immense love and attachment the people of Nepal have towards the kite and we are very much willing to explore the gist of kite flying sport in Nepal. Nepal’s Dashain festival would be the best for FLY360 and Nepal Government to collaborate and come together to have an amazing Kite Festival as a special treat for all the Kite lovers there in Nepal.
We would like to explore and get involved in the most celebrated Dashain Festival to get to witness a unique and different style of kite flying. So, what are you guys waiting for?? Let’s get together and plan up for the best Dashain this year with FLY360. We ensure to provide you guys the best Kite flying experience with our huge and design custom made kites. We shall make sure that this year kite flying during Dashain is not just limited to ordinary kite flying but much more to it.
Also, if you guys are not just interested in kite flying but also kite making then yes, we can have a kite making event too in your country. Where you will get to make your own kite for this Dashain. What more can be asked for? A special kite made by you to be like a special gift for Dashain kite flying. Isn’t it interesting? Well, we can’t wait to meet you guys! Connect with us now and we are just a bell away!