Kathmandu [Nepal], September 21 (ANI): The biggest Hindu festival of Nepal, Dashain, began on Thursday with the sowing of maize and barley in a jar filled with soil and cow dung for the germination of the sowed grains - known as "Jamara" (the barley shoots).
The priest of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Hanuman Dhoka Durbar Square sowed the seeds for the barley shoots, which will be plucked out on the 10th day and offered to the youngsters by their elders.
"Lord Rama put on the Jamara and went to fight with the devils and got victory over them. In order to celebrate the victory, Hindu pilgrims worship Durga Devi from Ghatasthapana to Navaratra and put on the tika on 10th day," Krishna Hari Bhattarai, a priest performing pooja at the Hanuman Dhoka Durbar Square, laid out the historical backgrounds of the festival.
The jamara or barley shoots sowed on the first day of the marathon festival has health benefits and are used for homeopathic treatment and fitness.
"Barley is regarded as the king of grains; the nutritional facts and benefits from it is also expressed and mentioned in the Ayurveda and if we put on those barley shoots, then we also have the belief that it will make us sacred. There is a belief that if we use the barley shoots while travelling long distance, it will be auspicious and all the bad or the evil deeds will be prevented," Bhattarai elaborated the religious beliefs.
Ghatasthapana, which falls on the day of the Aswin Shukla Pratipada, which is the first day of bright half of the lunar calendar in the month of Aswin, witnesses the prayers to Goddess Mahakali, Mahalaxmi and Maha Saraswati at the Dashain Ghar.
Apart from the worshipping, the festival of Dashain is also the occasion when all the members of the families get together and celebrate with the sacrificing variety of animals. (ANI)