Chaite Dashain is a Hindu festival, celebrated mainly in Nepal especially in the month of Chaitra. Regarded as a younger sibling of the Bada Dashain, this festival is celebrated for two days, in the Chaitra Shukla Ashtami and Nawami tithi, according to the Nepali Calendar. The day of Ashtami is known as Chaite Dashain (not the day of Dashain, to be precise, and it’s confusing), and the day of Nawami is known as Ram Navami. The reason for the Ashtami to be celebrated as Chaite Dashain is because this day is considered to be exactly half a year, i.e. six months after the Maha-ashtami. This festival is usually the last festival of the calendar year. This festival is also known as Chaitra-Ashtami, or Sano Dashain in most of the places around Nepal. Similar to the greater Dashain, this festival also symbolizes the victory of good over evil.
In the day of Ashtami of Chaite Dashain, people worship Goddess Durga, and animal sacrifices are made in some temples especially in temples of Durga Bhawani. Number of water buffalos, goats, chicken and ducks are sacrificed in Hanuman Dhoka Durbar Square in Kathmandu and Bhaktapur Durbar square. In the day after, i.e. in Ram Navami, people take fast, and visit the temple of Ram. A big fair is held in the Ram Janaki Temple of Janakpur, in this festival.
The day of Chaitra Ashtami is given the public holiday by the Government, but the day of Ram Navami is not the holiday. Known as Chaite Dashain mainly because it falls in the month of Chaitra, it does not have much significance as other major festivals though it is named as ‘Dashain’, but still it gives a good way of celebration mainly to the students whose school session ends by then. This festival lies almost in the mid of spring season, and hence the climate too adds a different kind of joy to its celebration.
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