Start of Dashain Festival in Sikkim & Darjeeling

Dashain – Known also as Vijaya Dashami, people celebrate the festival by visiting relatives and elders – usually from cities to villages.
However, because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s Dashain celebrations will be a subtle affair as families will have no choice but to not go out on their visits.
Many from the state capital will not be traveling this festive season.
Experts have also urged people to take the utmost precautions while traveling.
Meanwhile, state health secretary Pempa Bhutia said that because of the present pandemic, it is advisable to celebrate the festival indoors.
He has also said that there is no point in opting for quarantine within the state.
“There are no restrictions now as people are traveling. I urge people to maintain social distancing and all COVID protocols,” he said.
While wishing people, he said that the responsibility lies with the individual to keep one’s family safe because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ongoing situation has, however, not dampened the festive spirit with people doing some brisk shopping marking the festive atmosphere.
In Nepal and the Nepali speaking belt of India, including Sikkim and Darjeeling hills, the ten-day long festival of Dashain also marks Durga Puja.
On the tenth day, people visit each other to seek blessings from elders in the form of applying ‘Tika’ as a sign of divine blessings.
Devotees worship the nine forms of Goddess Durga for nine days called Navratri.
The auspicious occasion of Vijaya Dashami falls on the tenth day.