Dhan Diwas, also known as Rice Day, is a significant agricultural festival celebrated on Ashar 15 in the Nepali calendar. It holds great importance for farmers and those involved in the agricultural sector in Nepal.
During Dhan Diwas, farmers express their gratitude for a successful rice harvest. They engage in various activities, including offering pujas (religious ceremonies) and prayers to the goddess Annapurna, who is revered as the deity of food and nourishment. The festival provides an opportunity for farmers to showcase their harvested rice and participate in cultural events, such as music and dance performances.
Dhan Diwas serves as a joyful celebration where farmers come together to appreciate the abundance of rice and acknowledge the vital role of agriculture in their lives and the nation’s economy. It not only upholds agricultural traditions but also fosters a sense of community and promotes the preservation of cultural heritage among the Nepali people.
Overviews of Dhanropai
National Paddy Day (Rashtriya Dhanropai Diwas) is an annual festival in Nepal that marks the beginning of the rice planting season. It is celebrated on the 15th of Ashadh (usually late June or early July) every year. The festival is also named Ropain Diwas, Dhan Diwas, and Ashadh Pandra.
The festival usually starts with people making a parade in their village before entering the rice fields. They also wear Nepali traditional clothes. Men plow the field, arrange drain water, level the fields, and make fine mud slurry for the plantation”. The people splash each other and play in the mud, plant rice seedlings, eat the traditional dish of curd and beaten rice, and sing folk songs. Some communities schedule related cultural programs.
Nepal is still basically an agrarian society. Especially, most of the village people are still engaged in farming. And Dhan or Rice is the main staple dish of Nepalese people. Most Nepalese still eat rice twice daily every day.
Therefore, rice plays an important role in Nepalese life. The Dhan Diwas or Rice Festival is celebrated in Ricefield. On this day, people take to the paddy field and throw mud on each other and dance to make fun. People also sing a typical tune called Asare Bhaaka.
According to the cultural norm, 15 Ashadh is “considered as the auspicious day to start rice planting for the year”. The date falls during the monsoon season, an optimal time for rice planting. On 14 December 2004, the Nepal Government officially declared Ashadh 15 as National Paddy Day. The celebration takes place under the theme of “Increase rice production for self-sufficiency and prosperity”.
The Provincial Assembly of Karnali Province has declared Ashadh 15 to be a public holiday in Karnali Province except for the Jumla District.
Major Attractions of Rice Festival/Dhanropai Diwas
Some of the major attractions of these festivals are mentioned below;
- Plant paddy in the field
- Playing in the mud filled with water – Throw mud at each other
- Eat Dahi chiura(Eat Curd, beaten rice, and other food items)
- Sing and dance with the traditional folk songs, typically known as Ashaare Bhaaka.
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