The main feature of Dashain is animal sacrifices. On the ninth day of the festival, many animals, like buffalos, sheep, goats, chickens, and ducks, are sacrificed to appease the Goddess Durga. In Hindu mythology, the Mahishasura, the mighty demon 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 who had a battle for nine days and nights and defeated him finally on the tenth day. On the other hand, God Ram killed 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 is 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, whether small or big, rich or poor; everyone is neatly newly dressed. The women from the family prepare a Tika, a combination of vermillion, rice, and yogurt. The elder of the house pastes the Tika on the forehead of the family's younger members with Jamara ( the sprung out of barley ) and blesses them with good fortune and harmony in the upcoming year. The elders give a small amount of money and the blessing as Dakshina. This goes on for more than five days till the full moon, when 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 the general public used to take the Tika and blessing from the king, as the king was considered the incarnation of Lord Vishnu. But now, after the country transformed into a republican, the head of the government 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 means who is awake on a full moon night. On this, the Goddess Laxmi is worshipped and believes she will bring fortune and prosperity to the one who stays awake throughout the night. So people enjoy playing cards at night. So the Dashain Festival ends with great fun and happiness. This year the Dashain festival falls from 27 Sept - 02 Oct 2017, which is the autumn, the best time for trekking in Nepal, and all the government offices remain close to celebrating the national festival together.