Sunday, October 17, 2010

Hipa Thami Festival: Dolakha (Repost from 2009)

The 10th day of dashain, the festivities reach the heights on Vijaya Dashami otherwise known as Tika. 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.

Photographs of Hipa Thami Festival 2009-09-28

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