Dasain 2022

Vermilion rice paste and barley shoots prepared for Tika. All photos: SUMAN NEPALI

After two years of relatively muted Dasain festivities due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Nepalis were all revved up to make up for it this year. However, heavy post-monsoonal rains over most of Nepal drenched Tika on Wednesday.

The rains, combined with a lingering dengue epidemic in Kathmandu did put a damper on the festivities, but did not seem to dampen the Dasain spirit.

People leaving for their home towns for Dasain and crowded marketplace with people shoping for the festivities.

On 5 October, families celebrating the festival across the country observed Tika, the main day of Dasain when elders bless younger ones with ceremonial vermilion-rice paste on the forehead and sacred barley shoots. The celebration continues until the full moon night of 9 October.

Various rituals performed throughout Dasain festivities.

Dasain has been marked for millennia as a symbol of good vs evil, but probably originated as a harvest festival, and evolved into family get togethers. It is also traditionally accompanied by playing on bamboo swings and flying kites -- although this Dasain was too wet for kite fights.

Nepali Times photojournalist Suman Nepali brings these and more in this photo feature depicting this year’s Dasain festivities.