Ghatsthapna, the first day of the biggest festival Vijaya Dashmai in Nepal. Vijaya Dashami is celebrated with families where everybody gets together, enjoys their time with family, eats delicious food and performs rituals. Ghatasthapana is derived from two words, “ghat” means “a pot or a vessel” and “sthapana” means “to establish”.
It is also known as Kalashthapana, meaning Kalash, or a holy vessel, that symbolizes the Goddess Durga is placed in the prayers and the rituals. The vase is made up of either brass or clay. The pot is filled with holy water and covered with cow dung, to decorate the pot to plant seeds that grow big in 10 days. The plant is known as “Jamara”.
In order to plant jamara, sand collected from the river bank in the prayer room. Jamara seed is barley and along with sesame. As per the hindu rituals, every festival and if you are to establish anything, a favorable moment is determined by the priests. Same thing applies on this day, to establish the plant, the priests chant a welcome mantra, requesting Goddess Durga to bless the kalash and to rest herself for ten days in the prayer room.
Goddess Durga is offered red, yellow colored powered, flowers and food items. A lamp with sesame oil is lit. This lamp (with cotton thread and sesame oil) should be lit for 10 days without the failure days till Vijaya Dashami. The chandi mantra is recited to worship the goddess Durga in the prayer room for 10 days. The chandi mantra and the 10 days ritual is carried by the male member of the family, who has the sacred thread or Janai.
According to the tradition, unmarried women, non-family members and the boys who do not have this sacred thread are prohibited to enter the room where Ghatsthapna rituals are performed. Weapons are placed in front of the Goddess, and the rituals are done by blowing on a conch shell and playing damaru (the two headed drums), while worshipping the goddess for 10 days. On the tenth day, the barley and sesame seeds grow to become Jamara and are about 3-5 inches, that are cut and used as prasad to family or whoever visits the home.
When is Ghatsthapna celebrated?
The Ghatsthapna day falls on the first day after the no-moon day (the bright forthright) of the month Ashiwn as per the lunar or Bikram Sambat Calendar.
Why is Ghatsthapna celebrated?
Ghatsthapna is the first day of the biggest celebration Vijaya Dashami. In Hindu beleifs, Vijaya Dashami is regarded as the victory or the good over evil. Although, Ghatsthapna is the first day of the celebration, it is not only celebrated in Nepal, but also, outside Nepal.
How is Ghatsthapna celebrated?
Ghatsthapna is an important day to celebrate Vijaya Dashami. On this day, prayer room is cleaned properly, the copper or clay Kalash is filled with water, sandalwood paste, flower, rice mixed with red color powder, betel nut, five gems or a gold coin is placed in the prayer room. A whole coconut or flower garland is placed on top of the Kalash to cover the tip and the neck of the Kalash is tied with a red and white piece of cloth.
If you want to learn more about other festivities here are some popular ones:
- Ghatsthapna: Day 1 of Vijaya Dashami
- Phulpathi, 7th day of Vijaya Dashami
- Maha Asthami, 8th Day of Vijaya Dashami
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