Today is Ghatasthapana, the first day of Bada Dashain or also known as Vijaya Dashami.
It is the festival like Christmas of Christians, Eid of Muslim, Shabbat of Jews. Dashain is the biggest festival after Tihar for all Nepalese especially for the Hindu region people around the world.
Bada Dashain, the great festival of Nepali which starts every year on Ashwin Shukla Pratipada, starts today with house-to-house Ghatasthapana. Generally, Dashain is observed for 15 days starting Ghatasthapana- the first day of Bada Dashain falls on the first day of Aswin Shukla Purnima.
On this day, in an early morning after finishing daily rituals, sand or soil is brought from a nearby river or a suitable place, covered with cow dung, placed in the pooja room or Dasain house and Jamara (barley shoots) by sowing maize and barley seeds in a mud-jar filled with sand and soil for germination placed offering special pooja to the Goddess Durga.
After 10 days on Vijaya Dashami day this barley will be grown up as Jamara in yellow and green colour plants and with tika prasad and yellow Jamara symbolizing prosperity is worn.
On the first day of Navratri, in the morning crowd of devotees visit to various Shaktipeeths across the to worship and darshan including Naxal Bhagwati, Shobha Bhagwati, Nala Bhagwati, Palanchok Bhagwati.
The first day of “Navaratri” is being marked by worshipping the deity Shailaputri in accordance with vedic rituals. and preparing. Deity Shailaputri is worshipped for observing Ghatasthapana on the auspicious hour. Deity Shailaputri is one of the nine deities worshipped in Navaratri.
Prayers are also offered to Durga Bhavani, the goddess of power today. Germination of the auspicious “Jamara” is also initiated at Hanumandhoka DashainGhar in accordance with Vedic rituals.
The three forms of Durga Mahakali, Mahalakshmi and Mahasaraswati are ritually invoked and worshiped throughout Navratri. There is a tradition of worshiping Mahakali Shakti, Mahalakshmi Dhandhanya and Aishwarya and Mahasaraswati as symbols of knowledge and wisdom since Vedic times.
During the Dashain, nine various forms of Durga also called Navadurga are worshipped. Shailaputri is worshiped on the first day, Brahmacharini on the second day, Chandraghanta on the third day, Kushmanda on the fourth day, Skandamata on the fifth day, Katyayani on the sixth day, Kalaratri on the seventh day, Mahagauri on the eighth day and Siddhidatri on the ninth day.
On the occasion of Ghatasthapana, a special pooja is performed in every house. Dashain Ghar in Hanuman Dhoka Palace in downtown Kathmandu is also organized especia pooja (ritual performance).
With the marking of Ghatasthapana, celebrations and worship take place in the Shaktipeeth across the country including in the Kathmandu Valley. Likewise, there is also a tradition of sacrificing animals while initiating the germination of the “Jamara” which is also used as an Ayurvedic medicine.
On the day of Vijaya Dashami, Prasad “jamara” of the Goddess is taken after anointing with the water of the full kalash established on this day and offered tika along with jamara by the senior of the family to all the junior members.