Asar 15: A festival of Planting Rice and eating Dahi Chiura
Nepal has become known for its modernisation, but many people are still in agriculture. However, agriculture makes up the majority of rural Nepal's economy. Not only is the agricultural community around the country busy planting rice, but they are also enjoying one of the most important annual festivities today. Asar 15, (the 15th day of the third month according to Nepali calendar) has lately begun to be observed by the government as either Dhan Diwas or Ropai Diwas (National Rice Plantation Day or National Paddy Day), respectively. Prior to this, the day was already celebrated by the communities as an opportunity to express their gratitude for the work they do in agriculture.
This day also denotes the possible beginning of the crop season, which is one of the most significant agricultural procedures that take place across the nation. The farmer and his family have a good time by planting seedlings in the field, playing in the mud, playing musical instruments, singing traditional songs that are often referred to as Asare geet, and generally having a good time with family. A lot of foreign tourists come to Nepal for the festival, which is good for agro-tourism. One of their well-known habits is eating Dahi-chiura, which is a mix of curd and beaten rice.
The pleasant effects of the rainy season in Nepal are well known. Since ancient times, the 15th of Asar has been observed by all communities as a celebration dedicated to agriculture. It is a way to celebrate a culture that goes back to the beginning of human civilization. It is a way for farmers to feel connected to their land. It is also a celebration of shared commitment and cultural expression, has some historical significance, and has a significant cultural and economic impact in practically all regions of the nation.
The day of the Plantation
As was previously said, the 15th of Asar is the most crucial time for agriculture. But why is that?
As a result of our country's rainfall patterns, this day represents the greatest time of year to grow rice in our country. Many people decide when to plant, based on how the field looks and how much rain there has been. The climate or rainfall of that year has a significant impact.
Some have already been planted, while others will be planted today to commemorate the celebration. Everything is dependent on how much rain we get. When farmers begin planting new crops again, the rotational crop strategy also has an impact. After harvesting the last crop, there are going to be some people who will immediately begin the next procedure. Additionally, this is something that can occur after the 15th of Asar. On their farms, several farmers have already begun planting, while others are busy getting their plantations ready for the next growing season.
The Dahi-chiura is yet another essential standard.
In addition, it is traditional to consume Dahi-chiura, which is a dish composed of curd combined with beaten rice, on this day. Even if the planting is not completed on the 15th of Asar for any reason farmers and villagers will still consume this combination in order to commemorate the day. The Elders are responsible for the ritual distribution of Dahi-chiura within their communities.
Due to the fact that dahi-chiura is a source of energy for the body, eating it today is believed to be very vital. The combination gives strength to those farmers who are tired and makes the rest of the farming easier and faster.
A complete meal, a snack that may be eaten at any moment, or a dessert served at a bhoj or a feast are all names for Dahi-chiura. Additionally, the combination is beneficial for gastrointestinal distress, immune function, infections, and digestion. Aside from that, it is also given to new moms for the purpose of enhancing their strength and immunity, as well as to pregnant mothers by elderly women as a cultural practice similar to baby showers held nowadays. Even on their birthdays, many people continued to consume it as a tradition.
Even the Hindu epic Ramayan has references to the culture of eating Dahi-chiura. Sita was kidnapped by Ravan, which caused Ram, Lakshman, and Hanuman to go in search of her. When they arrived at a river that flows south of the city of Bhaktapur today, they were hungry, so it was reported that they ate Dahi-chiura on a banana leaf. Some people believe that the same tradition, which involves eating Dahi-chiura on the 15th of Asar, has been maintained up to today. The fact that Licchavi and Malla rulers held feasts in their courts is another piece of evidence.
It's no secret that rice is one of the most important staples for Nepalese people. It's on our plates at breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even snacks! Asar 15 is a great day to share the importance of rice planting & Dahi chiura (Curd with beaten rice) festival with our loved ones. This is a great occasion to celebrate in our community, friends, and family. We hope you enjoyed this blog post and we would love to hear your thoughts on the issue at hand!