Dashain is a religious Nepali festival which is celebrated for fifteen days. It is the longest and the most significant festival in Nepali Calendar. Dashain is also celebrated in Bhutan and some North-Eastern states of India.
Dashain is celebrated for 15 days. However, first, seventh, eighth, ninth and the tenth are the most important days.
On Ghatasthapana day, which is also known as Sowing Jamara day, a divine Kalash is installed in the Puja room. This Kalash symbolizes the Goddess of Power i.e. Goddess Durga herself. On this day Kalash is filled with holy water which is then covered with cow dung and sewn with barley and other grain seeds. The Kalash is put in Puja room at the center of a rectangle sand block. These seeds sprout and grow to five to six inches yellow grass in next ten days. This sacred grass is known as Jamara.
Vijaya Dashami is the most significant day during fifteen days Dashain festivity. Vijaya Dashami Tika is performed on the very same day. On this day, rice, vermilion and Jamara, which is sewn during Ghatasthapana day, are arranged on a plate and this preparation is known as Tika. Elders put Tika and Jamara on the forehead of younger relatives to bless them with abundance in the upcoming year. This ceremony continues for next five days till Kojagrat Purnima.
In Nepal, Dashain is not only a religious festival but also a nation holiday. Dashain is also known as Badadashain, Dashera and Vijaya Dashami.