Dashain is one of the most celebrated as well as the greatest festivals for Nepalese. Basically, it lasts for 10 days but one week of the Dashain is crucial for those who are thinking about spending it in Kathmandu. Since Dashain is the greatest festival almost more than half the population of Kathmandu returns back to their birthplace or village. Dashain is all about gathering, putting tikas and Jamara, giving the blessing, eating, sleeping, playing cards, flying kites (Changa), playing on the custom made swings with bamboos and rope and most of all spending time with your family. Dashain is not like all the other festivals of Nepal where you can get loud and make a lot of noises. This is the time of the year where relatives visit each other and spend time with the other.
Kathmandu during Dashain
Most of the people living in Kathmandu are from all over the country. And since it is the biggest festival in Nepal, they all want to be with their family and spend the quality time with them. However, during this time, Kathmandu looks boring and empty with the hustle and bustle of the city. The roads are empty with only a few vehicles running or a few people walking on them. Almost all shops are closed. Even the Thamel will be looking deserted with only some open shops and restaurants. Good thing about Dashain is that there will be no traffic jam and fewer people on the roads. Thus, you can take in a great picture of Kathmandu city with almost no crowd.
What is Dashain for Nepalese?
This is the time they get the longest holiday thus, more time for them to spend with their family. Dashain brings happiness to the faces of the parents whose children are in the city for work or studies. This is the time, where youth get to meet their friends and have fun and enjoy their time together eating the delicacies that are cooked. They forget about their worry and concern and simply enjoy the time with their family. They wish for the well being and happiness for each other. Elders bless their juniors by giving a heartfelt blessing in abundance. Therefore, Dashain brings family and friends together as well as joy and happiness.
So what to do if you happen to be in Kathmandu during Dashain?
The best way to avoid the quiet and boring Kathmandu is to pre-plan any activities outside the valley. You may opt for any adventure sports in Pokhara such as bungee jumping, paragliding, sky diving, ultralight flying and many more. Or you can also opt for trekking because the trails are not affected by the festivals. Trekking can be the best option as villages become livelier than the city area with more people. So, we suggest you to pre-plan any activities before the effect of Dashain starts.
And at last what it's like before Dashain
Before Dashain starts, it's madness like scenario in Kathmandu. As shopping is a very important part, the bazaars of Kathmandu will be jammed packed with people and there will be even more noise. The small roads of Kathmandu will be full of people buying and selling things. There will be twice the number of people around the cities which means twice the madness than the normal. So, be prepared for this madness.
All in all, Nepal is a unique country with a distinctive culture and festival celebrations. Thus, Dashain is one of the unique festivals holding very deep meaning in the hearts of Nepalese. I hope Dashain won't be displeasure for those who are in for holidays. And enjoy Kathmandu city even during Dashain.