The main feature of Dashain is animal sacrifices. On the ninth day of the festival a large number of animals like buffalos, sheep, goats, chickens, ducks are sacrificed to appease the Goddess Durga. In Hindu mythology, the Mahishasura the demon who was very powerful and disguised as a brutal water buffalo was creating havoc in the Devaloka ( the god’s world) and was unconquered by the Gods. So to get rid of him Parvati (the goddess) took the form of Durga in a combination of the nine powerful Goddess had a battle for nine days and nights and defeated him finally on the tenth day. On the other hand, God Ram was able to kill the demon king Ravan on the tenth day when he evoked the Goddess Durga. So the tenth day is known as Vijaya Dasami (the victory day) and celebrated as the day of the victory of good over evil.
On the tenth day of the festival, every house is cleaned thoroughly, painted with colors, and beautifully decorated no matters small or big, rich or poor, everyone is neatly newly dressed. The women from the family prepare a Tika which is a combination of vermillion, rice, and yogurt. The elder of the house paste the Tika on the forehead of the younger members of the family with Jamara ( the sprung out of barley ) and bless them good fortune and harmony in the upcoming year. The elders give a small amount of money along with the blessing as Dakshina. This goes for more than five days till the full moon where the families and relatives visit each other exchanging gifts and greetings.
In the time of the Kingship before 2008 AD, thousands of people ranging from the ministers, diplomats, and general public used to take the Tika and blessing from the king, as the king was considered to be the incarnation of Lord Vishnu. But now after the country transformed into a republican, the head of the country is the president and has been continuing the trend by offering the Tika and blessings to the people.
The festival ends on the full moon day Kojagrata Purnima, Kojatrata means who is awake. On this, the goddess Laxmi is worshipped and believed that she will bring fortune and prosperity to the one who stays awake throughout the night. So the people enjoy playing cards over the night. So the Dashain Festival ends with great fun and happiness. This year the Dashain festival falls from 27 Sept - 02 Oct 2017 and all the government offices remain close to celebrating the national festival together.