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Dashain fervour descends in Tharu settlements

Kanchanpur: The Dashain festive fervour has descended on the Tharu community in Kanchanpur district also as the nation celebrates its biggest festival.

The Tharu settlements here are agog with reverberating songs and spectacle of their traditional dances like Sakhiya, Jhumra, Chhokra, and Mungrahawa, among others. The Tharu community could not celebrate Dashain and other festivals in a joyous way in the last two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Those who had gone abroad in course of work had also not returned home due to Corona. The festivals were celebrated within the confines of the home due to the pandemic and there was no collective Tika. With the Corona infection subsiding, those who had gone abroad have come back home this time to celebrate the festival. “We are celebrating the Dashain this year in a joyous mood.

All the family members who had gone abroad or to other places within the country for work or studies have returned home for the festival. Dashain is really enjoying this time around. The community dances and songs are being performed in the Tharu settlements, giving an air of festivity,” said Durga Prasad Chaudhary of Krishnapur Municipality-4. According to him, the community dances promote community bonding as men and women both adults and young, participate in these traditional cultural dances and rituals.

The dances are performed for 10-15 days during Dashain. The Tharus eat delicious food and wear new clothes during the Dashain in spite of their poor economic condition at other times. They eat pork, chicken, fish, and mutton, and their special food is dhikri, ghoghi, poik sag, phulauri and thekwa during Dashain. These food items are enjoyed together with Guri Jaand and Daru (the home-brewed alcohol prepared from the Aanti rice). The guests are also served these food items and drink. The community dances are performed only during the night until the day of Ashtami, the eighth day of the 10-day-long Bada Dashain festival. They are performed in the daytime on the last two days of the festival. Before showing the dances, the Guruba (the head priest of Tharus) performs certain Tantrik rituals to protect the members of the dance troupes from any evil forces, said Dan Singh Dahit. Musical instruments such as madal, jhali, majaira, ghungaru are used during the dance.

The Tharu community has the tradition of receiving the Dashain tika and blessings from the community head known as Badghar on the day of Dashami, the last day of the festival. The people visit the Badghar along with gifts and amidst the playing of music and dances to receive tika and blessings.

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