Monday, October 29, 2012

Celebrating Dashain

I recently wrote blog post describing the festival of Dashain. Now, one week on, Dashain is finishing.

Ama giving Tikka to all the children
We have been celebrating with our local family and friends the good winning over evil. It is amazing to see the whole country on the move, travelling hundred of miles to be with their families, leaving the bustling cities and heading for the hills where they orignally came from. It's a weird feeling walking through Mahendra Pool, usually a hectic place, where you have to watch every step to avoid motorbikes with 5 people on them, buffalo taking over the pavements and people hanging out of the local buses turned into a ghost town, every shutter down and literally no traffic on the roads!

Happy Dashain everybody
We spent the main day of Dashain having a picnic in the park with the Street Kids. We even had goat curry which had been sacrificed the day before in honour of the festival.

Ama, the mother at the Street Kids Centre, took her time to give everyone of the children (and us) a beautiful Tikka. Not just your usual red color Tikka but one made out of rice, yoghurt and sugar. It is placed on your third eye for protection. You are also given baby rice leaves behind your ear and a small donation of money. After eat! And boy did we feast!

Flying Kites in the park
Normally after I eat a large meal I like to take it easy for the day, but not when you have 11 kids to entertain! We were then into full swing of making their new kites and testing them out! Frisbee and football all afternoon didn't seem to wear them out, but by the time all the volunteers got home, we were certainly ready for a rest!

Dashain swings!
We also all had a go on the amazing swings that get erected during Dashain. it is said that your feet must leave the ground at one point during the festival, so the way to do this...?! Swing! They are huge, beautiful creations made of bambo, if only the could stay up the whole year. 

Today though, it is back to work for a few weeks, before we have another holiday to celebrate Tihar, the festival of lights. One of my personal favourites!

Some volunteers also got invited to houses of local families that they have gotten close to in their time in Nepal which was a huge honor for them. 

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