Ghatasthapana , the first day of the Dashain festival, was celebrated by across the country on Saturday.
Marking the official beginning of the biggest festival, people sowed seeds of Jamara (sacred plants) at their homes and temples amid the presence of family members and closed ones. Also know as Dashara, it is the greatest festival of Nepali people celebrated by worshipping Hindu deity Durga, the goddess of power.
People early in the morning cleaned their houses and prepare the Ghatasthapana —“Ghata” is the pot where Jamara plant is grown and “Sthapana” means the “placement”. On the 10th day of Dashain, Jamara is offered as blessing of goddess Durga by the elders to the young members of family amid Tika ceremonies. Offering of Tika and Jamara continues for five days after Dashami till Purnima.
Hindu god Ganesh was also worshiped on the occasion of Ghatasthapana placing Kalash (vessels with sacred water) and Diyo (oil lamps) before reading holy scriptures. Diyos lighted up on the day of Ghatasthapana have to been fueled regularly to be lighted continuously for next 10 days till Dashami. Jamara has ingredients of seeds including barley,
rice, corn and wheat which are planted on leafplates traditionally known as Tapari.
It is also tradition that the head of a family plants Jamara after cleaning himself/herself by taking a holy bath and wearing fresh clothes.
From Ghatasthapana , Hindu devotees flock to various “Shakti Peeths” (power centres) dedicated to Durga for blessings. Guheshwori, Bhadrakali, Shobha Bhagawati, Mahangkal, Naradevi, Indrayani, Kalikasthan, Maiti Devi and Sankata are the major Shakti Peeths inside the valley.
Starting Ghatasthapana till Navaratri (nine nights), people chant Bhajans (devotional songs) at home and in Shakti Peeths.
These nine nights are according nine incarnations of Durga as mentioned in holy scriptures.
Gatasthapana is also worshiped as Shailaputri. The second day is called Bramhacharini, third as Chandra Ghante, fourth as Kushmande, fifth as Skndm-ate, sixth as Katyayani, seventh as Kalratri, eighth as Mahagauri and ninth as Siddhiratri. From the day onwards, people also recite and chant holy books Chandi and Durga Kabaj.
source: ekantipur, 06 OCT 2013