So we are at the time of the year where the Nepalese community gets involved in one of the biggest if not the biggest festive period of the year; Dashain! First, get to know little bit about the festival. ''The significance of Dashain is about victory – a huge win of good against the evil. According to the Hindu mythology, a demon named Mahishasura was creating havoc with his terrorism in a place called Devaloka (Gods' and Goddesses' World). Then one day, goddess Durga raised in anger and killed Mahishasura for what he had done. Hence, his demise is celebrated for 10 to 15 days since the time."
Typically, for international and national travelers and trekkers, September and forthcoming 3 months are the peak season to take trips in and around the majestic Himalayas. However, the festive mood of Dashain slows things down in terms of detour because majority of citizens return to their homes after a year or more. This leaves with less than usual travelling activities to be involved in inside Kathmandu Valley and outside of it. But we only mentioned ''less than usual'' as it is not like there is nothing to do. For sure, we have 5 productive ideas we can share with you to make the most of this days long busy period.
1. Kites! Cards! Swings!
Nepalese people have long tradition of celebrating Dashain by flying kites, playing cards, and swaying in on the bamboo swing. Families and relatives gather around to fly kites on the rooftop or in an open field, play poker cards for fun and for money, and stay in line for their turn to play swing that are handmade in open spaces. For you to get involved in these activities is simple, because all you need to do is ask and people will be more than happy to make you part of the celebration. You can even buy kites and cards to enjoy with your group of friends. And when strolling around Kathmandu Valley and villages outside, you can play the bamboo swings freely if you locate any.
2. Taste the Festive Foods
Majority households during this time prepare Furandana; beaten and fried rice which has ingredients like Bhujiya (crispy snack) and dried fruits. This food item is then eaten with meats of goat, chicken, and other along with vegetables especially cauliflower and spinach. Chutney of cucumber and tomato are also the part of the whole dish. You are in for a treat if you have already booked a home stay but there is nothing to worry about even if you have not. All the ingredients for the dish are readily available in the market as you can ask someone in the hostel or hotel you are staying to help you make it. We are sure anyone will help you because the citizens themselves are involved in the same activity.
3. Visit Religious Temples
If you are inquisitive about how the Dashain procession takes place then observing it in different religious temple will be a nice idea. Kathmandu Valley and places outside the valley have numerous temples of gods and goddesses. Here are some of the temples in the city you can visit during the time: Shova Bhagwati (Dhalku), Guheshwari Bhagwati (Gaurighat), Gokarneshwor Bhagwati (Gokarna), Manamaijudevi Bhagwati (Pachali), etc. A special suggestion for you to visit three royal cities of the Kathmandu Valley and their durbar squares (Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, and Lalitpur) to observe colorful and busy Dashain processions. We promise this will be an awesome experience.
4. Stroll the 'Zero Traffic' Kathmandu
A majority of population will be leaving towards their homes outside the valley. It would be a nice idea not to make travel plans beyond Kathmandu few days before Dashain. The traffic will be immense during this time with jam-packed vehicles leaving the place with 2 million citizens. The busy looking capital for most part of the year will literally be empty. Traffic will not be there as vehicles will be very limited along with least crowd. So the situation calls for a hustle and bustle free walk or drive to visit different locations of your plan. It might feel strange to see Kathmandu like that, nevertheless, it will also be an unique experience.
5. Possible Trekking and Travel Destinations (Outside Kathmandu)
We get your worry with everything looking busy during Dashain. However, there are possible ways for you to live trekking and traveling dream in Nepal and we care immensely about it. Yes, these destinations include Everest Base Camp, Annapurna Base Camp, Manang, Mustang, Pokhara, and Chitwan. You can march towards these beautiful destinations as all you need to do is become proactive. Travel and trek agencies do know the importance of the peak season and there will be handful of the companies opened to provide their services. So the best time durations for you to reach out to these agencies will be a week before Dashain and after 5 th day of it. During these periods the agencies can facilitate you with tickets, vehicles, permits, and other necessities for the travels.
Have a great travelling season and experience the wonderful Dashain ahead!