Tag Archives: Puja

Dashain – family, playing cards, food and celebration

As I mentioned in my previous post, we celebrated Dashain from 1st October-15 October. Like every year I was super busy performing rituals at home and going for tika at different relatives places. But I have to admit that I am really tired this year compared to the last few years, looks like my age is catching up on me 🙂

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On Asthami, my parents, my brother’s family and a few of my friends’ family went to the Helensburg temple. The temple had a great vibe going with lots of people praying and special chanting going on for the occasion of Dashain. Helensburgh (3)

Of course after the ritual, we went to their canteen for breakfast and I had my favourite Masala Dosa 🙂

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On Nawami, apart from Kumari and Ganesh puja, I have mentioned before, we did Gadi puja as well .Please click here for more information on why it is done.

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Dashami or Tika day was really busy for us. First of all, in the morning we need to do puja at home using Jamara and then Chhori had her first tika of her life from me and AS.

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Then we went to my parents’ place so they can give us blessings (and money :)). It was a great feeling to have my parents here. It has been more than a decade that I got to be together with my parents during Dashain so it was extra special.

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There we put tika for my brother, SIL and nephew and they put tika for Chhori. We had lunch there and went to visit other relatives. We went to few places before coming back to my parents’ place. By the time, we came back home that evening it was past 10 pm and all of us were really tired.

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Chhori had a great time for sure and she was wearing Lengha for the first time in her life. It was a gift given to her from my friend’s mum and she looked super cute.

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The next day we were again invited to another friend’s place. I had to work that day so after work we went to their place. There I managed to play some cards as AS was minding Chhori.

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It must have been a lucky day for me as I won some money, only $50 but we had so much fun.

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On Saturday, the last day of Dashain we invited our friends and family for tika and bhoj. I was cooking for around 30 people so was in kitchen for almost the whole day. But the evening was wonderful with family and relatives.

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Chhori definitely had a great time and was spoiled with blessings and gifts.

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Overall, we had a great week of celebration and eating lots of yummy food. I am sure I have put on a couple of kilos  🙂

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Hope all of you celebrating Dashain had a great one as well.

Take care everyone,

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

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Ganesh and Kumari puja during Nawami

In Newari tradition, during Nawami young girls and boys are worshipped as Ganesh and Kumari. It is believed that young children are pure and God resides in their body.

As my parents are here this year, we did the ritual this morning.

We had Chhori as Kumari and my nephew as Ganesh.

To celebrate Dashain, I dressed Chhori in traditional Nepali kurta. I absolutely love traditional outfits on Chhori, she looks so cute.

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We did the simple process for puja; just tika and flower first, then all the adults gave them gifts or money and touched their feet for blessing. Both the kids were over joyed getting all the money and gifts.

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It feels so good to do traditional things for Dahain. Made me miss Nepal a little less this year.

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Hope everyone who is celebrating Dashain is having a great time.

Happy Dashain once again!!!

Here are the posts I have written regarding Dashian over the years .

Take care everyone,

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Dashain Kite festival in Sydney

The biggest festival for Nepalese, Dashain, started from 1st October and we had a great start to the festival.

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This year it is really special for us as I have my parents here and this will be the first time Chhori can have Dashain Tika as we couldn’t celebrate last year.

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On Saturday, it was Gathasthapana, the day we plant Jamara. That day in Sydney, we also had another event to attend, the Kite festival organised by Guthi Australia.

They have been organising this event for the last few years and I really like it. They try to bring the Dashain vibe from Nepal to Sydney as much as possible by organising lots of cultural and traditional things during the gathering.

The function was held in the Rockdale Bicentenary Park and the entry was free.

The main highlights of the event for me was the Rath (Charito), Kumari, Lakhe and colourful kites in the sky.

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The Rath was done better than last year. It was a smaller version of the Rath in Nepal but it was great for kids to understand what the Rath looks like and they were allowed to pull them around the ground as well.

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There was a little girl dresses up as Kumari , only living Goddess in the world worshipped by Hindus and Buddhists in Nepal.

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 Lakhe is a demon in Nepalese folklore with a ferocious face with protruding fangs and mane of red or black hair.

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They had an energised Lakhe dancing to traditional music.

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If you are in Kathmandu during Dashain, the sky will be full of kites of different colours and we got to see some of that on the day as well.

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Little girls performing in traditional music was amazing and so was the fashion show and concert.

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There were many stalls for Tradtional handicrafts and Food stalls. Of course we enjoyed our evergreen momo.

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Chhori had a great time as well running around, playing on the swing in the park and enjoying the food.

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She was spoiled by all of our friends and relatives as usual.

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I am really glad these types of events happen in Sydney. As you all know I love my traditions and culture and I want Chhori to see, learn and know our culture too. These kind of organised events definitely will help me educate Chhori and hopefully develop her interest in Nepali traditions and culture in future.

Wishing you all a very Happy Dashain!!!

Here are the posts I have written regarding Dashian over the years .

Take care everyone,

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Our Story : Satyanarayan puja- Part 38

This is a continuation of my previous posts. Please read the previous posts here.

In Nepal, for any big auspicious occasion, people perform a Satyanarayan puja. My mum had planned it to be done a week before the wedding.

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Lord Satyanarayana is another form of Lord Vishnu. The Lord Vishnu in this form is considered an embodiment of truth (Satya). Satyanarayan is worshipped at home with family and friends by reciting the miraculous story of Lord Satyanarayan. This puja is performed before big events like weddings to bless everyone and to keep evil away so there is no problem during the important occasions.

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We had a priest come to our place early in the morning and my mum and aunties made all the preparation. On this auspicious day, we had lots of relatives come over to be in the puja. On the day of the puja, the devotee has to fast and it was going to be my mum, my SIL, me and a few of my cousins. I also asked AS to fast with us. Generally, men don’t do the fasting but but AS was nice enough to be supportive and be in puja with us and fast with us.

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The priest organised all the things for puja and asked us to do certain things from time to time. Here are the details of what you need for the puja and the procedure.

Puja Material

A book on the Puja (in consultation with a Brahmin), a square platform (Chaurang), mango leaves, two new cloth pieces, kalasha, lord’s idol or a photograph, turmeric, kumkum, panchamrut, six coconuts, prasad, four oil lamps, sandal paste, incense sticks, betel leaves, two garlands, areca nuts, turmeric pods, dry dates or almonds, camphor, offerings in form of cash or coins, tulsi leaves and flowers.

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Puja Procedure

The puja consists of five parts. The first one deals with the timing of the vrat and the procedure. The other four parts describe stories of the greatness of the God. The stories convince the importance of the puja. On the day of the puja, it is required to fast and perform the puja in the evening.

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In a clean room, a new clean cloth is spread on an elevated platform (Chaurang) and rice-grains, about a kilo are spread on it, in the centre. A kalash (Copper pot) capped with a new cloth piece is placed and a small idol of the Lord Vishnu is positioned on it.

The puja begins with the lighting of the lamp and praying to the God Ganesha, Lakshmi, Dikpaalakaas, Vishnu, Lord Shiva and Parvathi, Sun, the nine planets and Lord Indra.

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Lord Ganesha and Panchaloka Paalakaas should be positioned to the north of the Kalash and can be worshipped through areca nuts or almonds or turmeric pods or dry dates. Then, the nine planets should be worshipped by placing areca nuts on betel leaves followed by Lord Indra and other Dikpaalakaas.

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Later the Lord Satyanarayana‘s idol or image on betel leaf should be worshipped by Panchamrut (a mixture of ghee, milk, sugar, honey and curds) abhishek (sprinkle). At the end of the puja, there is udvaasana, a formal way of concluding the puja.

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After the puja, we all had lunch and rested for a while. That day I didn’t stress much but enjoyed being at home with everyone and staying positive that our wedding would go smoothly and would be good.

Take care,

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

P.S: Do not forget to vote your favorite blog . NEPALIAUSTRALIAN’s Blog Award 2014

Go to Part 39

Happy Dashain!!!

Today is the first day of our 15 days long festival of Dashain. Like every year, we have plans to celebrate it with friends and family.

Today is Ghatasthapana, the day when Jamara is planted so it is ready to be used for Vijaya Dashaimi.

My Jamara in Tika day

This year, our Dashain will be extra special because AS’s uncle and his family are visiting Sydney and we will be spending a few days with them during the festival.

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We will also have our usual celebration with samay baji and Tika celebration as well as Dashain Nakhatey.

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A RELAXED mind, A PEACEFUL soul, A JOYFUL spirit, A HEALTHY body, A Heart full of Love, May U have all these every day. Happy Dashain everyone!!!

Here are the posts I have written regarding Dashian over the years .

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Take care everyone,

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

P.S: Do not forget to nominate  your favorite blog .

Nominations open for NEPALIAUSTRALIAN’s Blog Award 2014

Dashain Celebration

Am I allowed to say that I am tired of Dashain celebration? Unlike in Nepal I didn’t have 15 days holiday to celebrate the festival so juggling work and celebration was bit a tough.

As usual this year too we started our celebration on Asthami. My brother invited everyone for dinner so that was the official start of Dashain for us. Luckily it was Saturday so everyone could relax till late.

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We played cards and enjoyed the yummy food and partied till late.

The next day was Nawami. That day as per the ritual, in the morning we did our car puja.

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This year we got lucky and we had a priest who did all the rituals for us.

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Then that evening was our turn to invite everyone. We had done most of the shopping the day before but we still had to run around doing last minute shopping.

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I can’t believe I single handily made a feast for 25+ people; of course AS helped me by doing the cutting but I amazed even myself :).

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The menu was Chiura, aloo tama, rajma, chicken curry, goat curry, mula ko achar, chicken wings, salad, chips chill and some cheese and crackers.

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I am glad everyone enjoyed the food and my effort as appreciated. That day I was busy making sure everyone was enjoying and eating well. It was a fun evening and by the time everyone went home it was close to midnight.

My Jamara in Tika day

On Monday, it was Vijaya Dashami and biggest day of the all. I took a day off from work to celebrate but AS had to go to work. 😦

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I performed puja at home with our home grown jamara in the morning and in the afternoon I went to put tika at one of my friend’s place. His parents are here so it was my start of tika getting blessing from elders and eating bhoj.

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Then in the evening all of us were gathered again at my cousin’s house. We had heaps of fun putting tika on younger ones and getting blessing from the elders. As usual there was a big feast prepared and after that day I had had enough of the yummy food.

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On Tuesday, we were invited to one of my friend’s place for tika and again we ate lots of food. As coming Saturday is purnima, I still have 3 more places to go for tika and more feast.

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While talking to our parents on the Skype, they were even telling us that we are having a lot of celebration like in Nepal. I am glad we could do that but at the same time I am already so tired of eating I am sure I put on quite some weight. My work out to be fit and fine for summer went down the drain in the last few days.

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Nevertheless I had a great time with my friends and family celebrating Dashain.

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Hope all of you had a great Dashain too.

You may also like :

*Asthami : Dashain *Dashain Tika update *Dashain ko Nakhatey

Tihar

Today we start the second biggest festival, after Dashain, for Hindu from Nepal.

This festival is celebrated in five days starting from the thirteenth day of the waning moon in October.

 The five days are called

  • Kaag / Kag (crow) Puja
  • Kukur (dog) Puja
  • Laxmi Puja and Gai (cow) Puja
  • Goru Puja,Gobhardan Puja , Mha Puja and Nepal Sambat
  • Bhai Tika

We also refer to Tihar as ‘Panchak Yama’ which literally means ‘The five days of the Lord of the underworld’. We also worship ‘Yamaraj’ in different forms in these five days.

In other words this festival is meant for life and death.The five-day festival is considered to be of great importance as it shows reverence to not just the humans and the Gods, but also to the animals like crow, cow and dog, who maintain an intense relationship with the humans. It is also a time for cooking great meals at home, brothers and sisters shopping for gifts, flying kites, decorating homes and streets, playing cards with friends, resting and relaxing.

Tihar is also called The Festival of Lights, as many diyo or candles or decorative lights are lit both inside and outside the houses to make them bright at night. All the houses are cleaned and decorated with the belief that Goddess Laxmi will enter the house that is clean so people light candles, oil lamps and other lights and thus during the night the entire village or city looks like millions of sparkling gems.

There is a story, which tells why this revelry is celebrated so widely. Once there was a king who was living his last days. His astrologer had told him that a serpent would come and take his life away. The king did not want to die so he asked the astrologer if there was any way to escape death. The king was advised to sleep with lit oil lamps all around his bed and decorate the palace with oil lamps on the day of Laxmi puja so that Goddess Laxmi would talk to the serpent not to take his life. It did happen; the serpent was convinced by Goddess Laxmi. The serpent took the king to Yama Raj and told him that it was not yet the king’s time to come to the underworld. So Yama Raj opened his ledger and in it the kings remaining age was written zero, but the serpent cleverly put seven before zero. Thus the king lived for seventy more years. So form then onwards Tihar is widely celebrated worshipping the lord of the underworld and Goddess Laxmi.

Another mytological reasons behind the celebration  is that Lord Ram return to Ayodhya  after 14 years of exile. He killed Ravan on Nawani of Dashain thus we celebrate Dashain and his home-coming is celebrated in Tihar with lights and flowers.

Tihar is also celebrated by playing Langurburja. It is a game similar to the British dice game “Crown and Anchor”. I remember taking money from dad and running to play a game with my friends. The game is played with 6 dice and a mat. The mat has similar symbols, as the dice, and they are spades, hearts, diamonds, clubs, crown and flag. The player can choose one or more symbols to bet his money on. If he gets at least one die with the same symbol which he bet on, he wins. If he gets two then he wins 2:1, the more he gets on the throw the more money he wins. As a kid we used to play for 25 paisa (equivalent to less than a cent in AUD now) a game. It was more for fun than for the money. I am sure they now play with more money than that.

Adults mostly play cards instead of Langurburja.

It also incorporates the Newar’s New Year, which is called Nepal Sambat.

Last weekend, I went shopping in preparation of the festival and bought lots of sweets, fruits and food.  I couldn’t find all the things I will need for Tihar and I was a bit disappointed in Nepali/Indian grocery in Sydney who are charging arms and legs for things we use for Tihar. Just an example, we need jajanka for Tihar which normally would cost around Rs 10 in Nepal but are selling for $2 (Rs180) each in Sydney!

Kaag Puja / Kag Puja

The first day of Tihar is Kaag / Kag (crow) puja which falls on 12 November this year.

Crow is supposed to be a henchman for Lord Yamaraj. Hindus believe crows to be messengers of good or bad news. With its croaking, it conveys messages like visitor coming to the house etc. It is also believed to be a messenger of Yama, the God of death

To avert grief and death in the family, Hindus worship crows during Kaag / Kag Tihar offering it sweets and various dishes. On this day crows are offered food on a plate made out of leaves in the morning before anyone in the house takes in food. In Nepal a crow is not killed cause as a legend says that one crow had happened to drink the water of life. Thus you can see crows everywhere sitting without the fear of human beings. Once you leave offerings on the balcony, a crow will come and eat the food.

Where there are no crows, any winged animal of the heavens (bird) will enjoy the feast.

In Australia, I haven’t seen many crows around so I printed a photo of a crow and performed the Puja this morning. I had a shower and then prepared puja. Here are some photos of Kaag / Kag puja from this morning 🙂

Happy Tihar everyone!!!

I will write about other days like Kukur Puja, Gai Puja and Laxmi Puja, Goru Puja , Govardhan Puja , Mha Puja and Nepal Sambat and Bhai Tika as the festival progresses.