Dashain, also Bijaya Dashami, or Mwohni or Durga Puja is a fifteen-day-long national festival of Nepal, the ethnic Nepali people of Indian hill states of Sikkim, Assam and Darjeeling district and among the Lhotshampa of Bhutan and the Burmese Gurkhas of Myanmar.
It is the longest and the most auspicious festival in the Bikram Sambat annual calendar, celebrated by Nepalese people, along with their diaspora throughout the globe. It is the longest and most anticipated festival in Nepal, Bhutan, Burma and North Indian hills. People return from all parts of the world, as well as different parts of the country, to celebrate together. All government offices, educational institutions, and other offices remain closed during the festival period. The festival falls in September or October, starting from the Shukla Paksha (bright lunar fortnight) of the month of Ashvin and ending on Purnima, the full moon. Among the fifteen days on which it is celebrated, the most important days are the first, seventh, eighth, ninth and the tenth.
Among the Newars of the Kathmandu Valley, Dashain is celebrated as the most important festival of the calendar year. Among the Hindus and Buddhist Newars, it is celebrated with slight differences and interpretations, where each nine days Navaratri leading up to the 10th day called 'Dashami' carry special importance. The goddess Durga and her various manifestations are especially worshipped by Hindu Newars throughout the Shaktipeeths of Kathmandu Valley. Among Newars, Mwohni is also important for its emphasis on family gatherings as well as on a renewal of community ties, highlighted by special family dinners called Nakhty and various community processions of deities called J?tr? throughout the three royal cities of Kathmandu Valley.
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