The varied climate of Nepal is suitable for varied settlements and cultivation. A wide variety of crops are grown from the flat plains in the south to the mountainous slopes in the north. Nepal is equally renowned for its cultural diversity. More than 125 castes of people live in the country and they speak more than 120 languages. The social and cultural traditions differ greatly from one group to another. More than ten religious sects are followed by the Nepalese people. The life styles are uniquely different from one community to another.
|Symbol of Dashain|
Dashain is the greatest festival of the Nepal. It is very joyful religious festival of the Hindus. It is the greatest among their festivals. It is celebrated in the month of September or October. Goddess Durga is worshipped on this occasion. Ghastapana is the first day of Dashain. The tenth day known as Vijayadashami is the most important. An important aspect of this festival as also of Bada Dashain is the animal sacrifices, which are essential to appease Goddess Durga. Hence blood sacrifices are carried out in the temples of the Mother Goddesses who are manifestations of Goddess Durga. Many water buffaloes and goats are sacrificed during this festival. Major sacrifices take place near the Hanuman Dhoka palace at the guardhouse and also at Bhaktapur Durbar Square. Tourists may take photographs of the sacrifices from a distance. The story goes that Ravan the demon king kidnapped Ram's wife Sita and disappeared. Ram then invoked Goddess Durga and destroyed Ravan. Another version of the story has Sita taking the form of Goddess Kali, the dangerous form of Durga and killing Ravan with her own hands.
This festival is the symbol of the victory of truth over untruth. People go to their elders or seniors to receive blessings from them. The elders offer Tika on their foreheads and Jamara (fresh barley and maize seedlings) on their heads.