Tag Archives: spirituality

Dashain and Kite Festival

Today, 21st September is Ghatasthapana, the first day of Dashain and in Sydney the celebration has already started. Last Saturday, like every year, Guthi Australia organised a free event to celebrate the Dashain in the Rockdale Bicentenary Park.

They have been organising this event for the last few years and I really like it as it is a perfect place to catch up with friends and family. They try to bring the Dashain vibe to Sydney as much as possible by organising lots of cultural and traditional programs during this auspicious time of the year.

We went there around lunch time and headed straight to food stalls. We had momos and Sel roti.

As we sat to eat, we started encountering many friends and family. After the quick bite, we went and tried out our hand at flying a kite.

My attempt was unsuccessful with my nephew as it didn’t go very high but there were some pro kite flyers who were doing a really good job.

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

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

We also enjoyed the Lakhe dance and the Pulu kisi (elephant) dance.

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

Pulu Kisi is believed to be the carrier of Indra himself. People view the masked creature with a roar of excitement and laughter. From time to time it does naughty and mischievous things by running through the street knocking anyone that comes in its path and swinging its tail.

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

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

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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

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

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 .

Dashain Tika (13) Dashain Tika (3)

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

Swayambhunath: Kathmandu, Nepal

Going regularly to a temple is big part of Nepali culture. You will often see people of all age going to a temple early in the mornings. While in Nepal, we tried to go to different temples as well. For us it was more of going to see the place than for religion but if we were to get blessed while we were there then even better :). One of the temples we visited was Swayambhunath, also know was Monkey Temple by tourist in Kathmandu.

One day we were invited for lunch to our aunt’s house, which is near to Swayambhunath, so we decided to visit the temple before we went for lunch. Swayambhunath is an ancient religious complex atop a hill in the Kathmandu Valley, west of Kathmandu city. Even though Swayambhunath is a Buddhist stupa, yet it is equally popular with the Hindu pilgrims as well.

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Legend has it that Kathmandu Valley was once an enormous lake, out of which grew a lotus. The valley came to be known as Swayambhu, meaning “Self-Created.” The name comes from an eternal self-existent flame (svyaṃbhu) over which a stupa was later built.

Swayambhunath is also known as the Monkey Temple as there are holy monkeys living in the north-west parts of the temple. They are holy because Manjushree, the bodhisattva of wisdom and learning was raising the hill which the Swayambhunath Temple stands on. He was supposed to leave his hair short but he made it grow long and so head lice grew on them. It is said that the head lice transformed into these monkeys.

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The Bodhisattva Manjusri had a vision of the lotus at Swayambhu and traveled there to worship it. Seeing that the valley could be a good place for settlement and to make the site more accessible to human pilgrims, Manjusri cut a gorge at Chovar. The water drained out of the lake, leaving the valley in which Kathmandu now lies. The lotus was transformed into a hill and the flower became the Swayambhunath stupa.

As we were driving to the hill where Swayambhunath stupa is, we could really see how beautiful the temple is.  Around the bend of some roads, the temple comes into full view, and we can see the large Buddha’s eyes, sitting below a golden roof at the peak, keeping watch over the valley.

These large pair of eyes, which represent Wisdom and Compassion, on each of the four sides of the main stupa. Above each pair of eyes is another eye, the third eye. It is said that when Buddha preaches, cosmic rays emanate from the third eye which act as messages to heavenly beings, so that those interested can come down to earth to listen to the Buddha. The hellish beings and beings below the human realm cannot come to earth to listen to the Buddha’s teaching, however, the cosmic rays relieve their suffering when Buddha preaches.

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The dome at the base represents the entire world. When a person awakes (represented by eyes of wisdom and compassion) from the bonds of the world, the person reaches the state of enlightenment. The thirteen pinnacles on the top symbolize that sentient beings have to go through the thirteen stages of spiritual realizations to reach enlightenment or Buddhahood.

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When we reached the gate leading to the steps, there were many monkeys all over the place. Some people were feeding monkeys which were running everywhere. I am scared of monkeys as a monkey had snatched a bag from my hand when I was kid so I went and hid behind my husband and brother when I saw them running towards us. I have to say they are pretty well behaved as they don’t bother you unless you annoy them.

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On the side of the gates, there were ladies selling Puja items like candle, flowers and souvenirs.

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There are 365 steps and it is believed that there’s a step for each day of the year, starting at the gate and ending at the stupa. We started to climb the stairs and more monkeys emerged. I stayed close to AS and I was fine. We took a few photos as we climbed up and as we went higher the view got even better. There were many beggars sitting on either sides of the stairs as well and some of them I felt really sorry for as they had small children with them.

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As we reached the top, we could see more monkeys everywhere. There were also stalls selling the usual touristy items. There were many interesting, well-done acrylic paintings of the Himalayas, Nepali hand puppets and other handicrafts.

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There were also lots of people worshipping in the temple with diyo and candles. I could see prayer flags around the stupa and lots of diyo lit in front of the temple next to stupa. The Swayambhunath complex consists of a stupa, a variety of shrines and temples, some dating back to the Licchavi period as well as a Tibetan monastery, a museum and a library.

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 As we walked around the temple, we rotated the prayer wheels. A prayer wheel is a cylindrical “wheel” on a spindle made from metal, wood, stone, leather or coarse cotton. Traditionally, the mantra Om Mani Padme Hum is written in Sanskrit on the outside of the wheel. According to the lineage texts on prayer wheels, prayer wheels are used to accumulate wisdom and merit (good karma) and to purify negativities (bad karma).

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At one end of the temple area, there is a viewpoint from where you can see the entire Kathmandu. I remember coming there when we were young and we used to try to find our house from there but these days due to population and pollution, you can’t see very far. I felt really sad to see how Kathmandu has changed in the last decade and definitely not for the better in terms of the environment.

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After looking around for a few more minutes, we decided to back down to the car. As you come down, there is a golden statue of Buddha surrounded by water. People were throwing coins into a bucket there and it is believed if your coin enters the bucket, it will bring good luck. My brother and SIL were trying their luck so AS asked me to throw some coins as well. It reminded me of the Trevi fountain when we were in Italy. There were lots of coins lying around the statue there as well but I am sure, the amount of money thrown here is nowhere near the amount in the Trevi fountain.

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After our visit to the temple, we were really hungry so we went to our aunt’s house for lunch 🙂

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