Kathmandu [Nepal], Oct 10, : The nine-day festival of Bada Dashain began on Wednesday morning amidst the sound of ancient musical instruments and firing of shots in the air by the Nepalese Army, known as Paltan, in the courtyard of ancient Palace of Nepal, a UNESCO heritage site.
The first day of the nine-day long festival, known as Ghatasthapana, is celebrated on Ashwin Shukla Pratipada, which falls in the month of Ashoj and is the first day of the bright half of the lunar calendar. The day begins with plantation of barley in a corner of a room which is considered sacred.
Lord Ganesha is worshiped in accordance with vedic rituals. Barley seeds and maize are filled in a Kalash along with soil and cow dung for the germination of barley shoots known as Jamara, which is considered to be auspicious. The room where the Kalash is established is known as Dashain Ghar.
People offer prayers to Goddess Mahakali, Mahalaxmi and Mahasaraswati at the Dashain Ghar. During this period, devotees visit Naxal Bhagawati, Shobha Bhagawati, Maitidevi, Guheswori, Bhadrakali, Kalikasthan, Sankata, Mahankalsthan, Naradevi, Bijayeswori, Indrayani, Dakshinkali, Chamunda and other shrines of goddess Durga Bhavani in the morning. Verses and hymns dedicated to Durga Bhawani are chanted in temples, shrines, and residences of devotees during Dashain. (