Dashain, the 15-day festival that is the most important in Nepal, symbolizes the victory of good over evil. Once upon a time, the Goddess Durga rode a tiger and armed herself with magic weapons to battle the demon Mahishasura. After fighting for nine days and nights, Durga finally killed the devil and saved the whole country. Since then, offering sacrifices to the Goddess has become one of the most popular festival rituals.
Day Ten of Dashain, called Vijaya Dashami, is a great time for family reunions, where relatives give tika to the children and everyone enjoys fantastic parades and masked dances in Kathmandu, as our kids and staff are doing in the photo above.
Traditions of Dashain include flying kites, playing cards and gambling, buying new clothes and playing on bamboo swings (called pings). As you can imagine, our Ama Ghar children and staff are enthusiastic participants in all of these fun traditions. In the photo above, the kids pose in their brand new clothes and below Nirjala and Leela are little Dashain goddesses…
Many of our children, if they have living relatives, go back to their villages for the holiday, so we have a small group of revelers at the Ama Ghar home, including Ama Ghar alumni who come home to celebrate with their younger Ama Ghar brothers and sisters. Let the gambling begin!