One of the most fascinating highlights of this festival is the animal sacrifice, which is offered to Devi Durga on the 8th day of Dashain popularly known as Mahashtami. The animals selected for the sacrificial purpose are of five different kinds. They are water buffalos, goats, sheep, chickens and ducks. According to the traditional belief, the water buffalo symbolises anger, goats and sheep stand for lust and stupidity whereas chicken and ducks stand for timidity and apathy respectively.
Some of the important puja materials required for Ghatasthapana ceremony include barley seeds, a holy water jar, a big clay pot, some flowers and of course, the wet sand from the river. The one who is to perform the Ghatasthapana rites must be either the family priest or the eldest person in the family. It is quite interesting to watch the performance of this traditional ritual. First of all the sand is laid at a place chosen for the purpose. Then the ceremonial jar is placed in the middle of it and barley seeds strewn all over with the chanting of hymns to Devi Durga. After this is done the worshipper will cover up the silt by a huge clay pot. The seeds will grow into their full splendour in another few days.
This particular period of nine days is called Nawaratri. It represents the devotees’ deep devotion to Devi. Many believe that this is the best time of the year to evoke Devi to have one’s desire fulfilled. This practice seems to follow the puranic injunctions very strictly.
The 10th day of dashain, the festivities reach the heights on Vijaya Dashami otherwise known as Tika. All sacrifices come to an end this day. It is said that Rama gained victory killing Ravana and Durga slaying Mahisasura. Hence, Vijaya Dashami is the day of victory. This is the day of family reunion and get togethers with relations. Juniors are especially visited to receive tika, a paste of vermilion, rice and curd and Jamara from them. Tika is the symbol of triumph and power of female deities. Therefore, the elders, while putting tika on the forehead of their juniors, read out the blessings in Sanskrit.
Dressed in their best attires, people move from one place to another to convey their respects, receive tika and blessings, exchange greetings and partake of sumptuous food and drink. Some communities receive tika on the tenth day only while others enjoy rest of the five days too. Those who put on tika to juniors are offered some gifts and those who receive tika are offered fruits and snacks afterwards. Swings of various types are one of the major attractions of the festival. Even the old people swing in the belief that one should relieve the mother earth of one"s burden at least once a year on Vijaya Dashami. Children and teenagers enjoy swings most. Swings in most cases are special to Bada Dashain and Tihar principally in the countryside. On this day, two thami men must make the trek from the village Dumkot to Dolakha bazaar, where they strip down to loincloths and drink the fresh blood of a buffalo calf sacrificed in the Devikot temple courtyard. By drinking the blood, the thami are believed to clear the way for Newar fighters to win the battles against evil in the Khadga Jatra Festival, which takes place on the following day. This festival is called as Hipa thami festival.Photo of the Thami people come to Dolakha bazaar from Dumkot village to drink fresh blood of buffalo
Photo of the Khadga Jatra
On the 11th day of Dashain Khadga Jatra is celebrated and many people come this town to see this festival. In this festival, some local people show the historical dance with 'Khadga'.
Untill 15th day of Ghatasthapana, we can receive Tika and celebration of Dashain is finished after this day.