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Dashain Festival in Berlin

The Embassy of Nepal honors unity and harmony

October 14th, 2019
Marta Faraoni, News from Berlin
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On the 12th October 2019, the Nepalese Embassy celebrated the last day of Dashain Festival, the most important Hindu festival. The Nepalese community in Berlin and members of the German public and private sector attended the event, which was located in Spandau, one of Berlin’s Western districts.

Every year the Nepalese Embassy in Germany celebrates the Dashain Festival, also known as Bijaya Dashain. It is the longest and most auspicious festival for the Nepalese community. The festival is celebrated either in September or in October, and it lasts for 15 days. Every day is dedicated to a specific goddess and they thank them for prosperity in agriculture and family harmony. During these 15 days, public and private business are not allowed to work and remain closed. Most of the Nepalis living abroad return to Nepal to spend these days with their family and community. Consequently, this festival plays a vital role in the Nepalese society, as it focuses on supporting and maintaining strong community ties by organizing special family dinner called Nakhtyā and various processions from one village to the other.

Last Saturday, the Nepalese community in Berlin gathered together to celebrate the last and most important day of the Dashain called Kojagrat Purnima or full moon. The Nepalese Ambassador, H.E. Mr. Ramesh Prasad Khanal and his wife wore traditional clothes and welcomed all the guests by blessing them with Dashain Tika, a dab of red vermilion mixed with yoghurt and rice and offered some rice strings as a symbol of prosperity and good luck. Afterwards, people were invited to drink and eat a traditional Nepalese meal consisting of rice, spicy dressing, meatballs and different kinds of meat. Not only members of the Nepalese community attended the event, but also many Germans were invited and took part in the festival. For instance, German NGOs with projects in Nepal and employees from the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs were present and mingled with the Nepalese community. Thus, this festival functioned as a gathering for the Nepalese community living in Berlin and it simultaneously supported the diplomatic and political relations between the Nepalese Embassy representing the Nepalese government and the public and private sector, represented by German entrepreneurs, NGOs and ministries. 

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News from Berlin