Let’s begin with a small disclaimer that there is no such thing as a universally perfect Dashain. See the thing is everyone has their own version of a perfect event and that includes Dashain. What you think of as a perfect Dashain might just be a nightmare for someone else. An easy example of this is the way Introverts and Extroverts want to experience Dashain. Introverts just want to have a few relatives come over and have deep family time while enjoying the food and booze.
Meanwhile, extroverts want their Dashain to be more exciting. They want to enjoy the people that come outside and feel re-energized by the people around them so they would go to the cultural events and have a blast there with the whole family.
The point is, regardless of how your nature is and what you prefer, it can be turned into your version of perfect. How you make it perfect is up to you and there is no fixed step by step formula to make it happen. Even if it did have a formula, there are a lot of variables with the main and crucial variable being you. We, however, can give you a few guidelines which will enable you to have your perfect version of a Dashain regardless of your choice or condition.
Before we begin to explain how to make Dashain perfectly, we should, however, remember the essence it is built on. The essence is to receive the blessing of the elders and to celebrate the victory of good over evil. Along with this, we should also remember that this is a long festival which lasts half a month. As mentioned before, the essence is to receive a blessing but in this time frame, that can be a bit bad since it is not exactly possible to meet every relative so you have to resort to voice or video callings for that sooner or later.
1. Know the Budget
First things first, in any celebrations the money comes first. Not to sound materialistic and all but you need money to celebrate anything. That being said, you can have a good celebration with just a little bit if you plan well. The point here is to know how much you have to spend on one occasion. In Nepali society, there is always this thing going around of keeping up to standard with the neighbors.
While this is good and all to maintain social relationships well, you first have to know how much you have in spare to do it. If you go broke while trying to keep up with the world, you only will have yourself to blame. So to have the best version of your Dashain, first know how much you can spare for the Dashain.
2. Plan the spending for the Dashain
The next logical step is obviously planning your spending. If you have some considerable amount then you won’t have to plan much but if you don’t, then you will have to sacrifice some things one way or another. Try the process of elimination if you are facing this with four columns. It will be much easier to show it rather than explain it so here is the chart for you.
|Not so Cheap||Spend averagely||Do not Spend|
As you can see there are a few things that you need to do in Dashain. Things like ingredients for Puja and some foods to enjoy are needed. Things like new accessories are not needed but we want them on this occasion. If the thing you want is not cheap and you have a low budget, you will regret it when you need to spend that on the things you need so it is better to leave that for the rest. Along with this, if you have a low budget, things like meat may not fit into it all the time so you have to plan to spend it in an average way.
3. Choose whom to invite/meet up
Who do we invite to our home in Dashain or who do we spend time with? This is not only a matter of budget spent on food but also about Mental Health and social standing. If you are an introvert, people are not really your thing. But at the same time, you do not want to spend time alone and be hated by all as well.
The trick here is inviting and spending time with those whom you trust and who show respect for you and your thoughts. Regardless of what you say or do, people who bitch about behind your back will always do it. If they will do it anyway, why do you even need to spend time, money, and effort to maintain social standing with them? That may have some larger impact on your image but people will always have something to say.
Similarly, if you are an extrovert and want to spend as much time as possible with the people, don’t spend time with those who won’t share your expense or spend back on you when the time comes. It is understood that you gain your energy from people but it is not worth going broke for.
There will be a lot of people who will share some expenses with you. Spend time with them. Not only will it give you energy but save your money and maintain a fine social image as well. As we have said before, people who will bitch about you will do it regardless of what you do so let them do it as long as you are in the right and have a reason to do what you do.
4. Home cooked Dashain food and Nostalgic music is the Key
What is better than just hanging around with the people whom you trust, is to cook with nostalgic music in the background. Regardless of if you are an introvert or extrovert, this is an activity for both. There will be some noise and there will be a lot of chatting. The only difference is the number of people you cook with. While cooking there will be a lot of memories shared and nostalgia between the people.
There will be pulling legs and making jokes with them. The nostalgic music in the background will only make the mood better. We know that each group has its own set of music that takes them back. Put them on and cook. Also since all of the people with you are involved, the expense will also be shared to some extent although the majority will be on the host. If you cannot leave home due to some reason, you can always chat and cook while having that music in your background.
5. Take enough rest once it is all done
You need to rest. This much is a well-known fact. When you have been spending days doing something, you will get tired. On top of that Dashain is not a one-day event so you need to get as much rest as you can get while you can. Introverts will need more alone time than others but it is just their nature so there is no helping to that. Even if you are not an introvert, your body will need to rest.
Let’s admit it, none of us can be all jolly and active for more than a few days straight. Our human brain is not evolved to do that nor is our body. All the emotions will take a toll on you and your body eventually. What is needed to avoid this is to take rest. A long nap or a lazy day will be enough to recharge a lot of you and if you are not recharged, take more time. After that period of rest, you will be able to enjoy more.
If you want to know about some cheap and easy to make foods, check out our list of “10 Newari foods you must try“. They are cheap and easy to make.
Also, why don’t you start “The 52-week money challenge” to learn how to plan the budget?