As much as the people of the urban areas are unrelated to farming, there are still 50% of Nepalese who do farming for both survival and for their income. Nepal is an agricultural country after all. Being an agricultural country, one of the major food of Nepal is rice. We eat rice in the morning, we eat rice in the evening and we even eat during the day in the form of fried rice. So needless to say, Rice is the Unsung Hero of Nepal.
That makes us want to appreciate that rice right? Well, welcome to Dhan Diwas– The official Dhan Diwas of Nepal. Although people have celebrated this diwas on Asadh 15th for a long time, it was officially termed as such only back in 2004. This makes Dhan Diwas the rather Recent diwas in Nepal. Now a lot of you who are not familiar with this day may have a few questions. Some of them being, why is a festival solely dedicated to rice and paddy even celebrated and why on this date? We will answer some of these questions here so don’t worry about it.
Why is Asadh 15th Celebrated as a Dhan Diwas?
The answer is rather simple and quite obvious, to be honest. In Nepal, Asadh is considered as the peak time for monsoon. This moth is said to be the time when rain falls the heaviest. Although climate has changed a bit since 2004, this statement remains true overall.
Now to plant rice, you need a lot of water and rain. As Asadh is the month of monsoon, this makes this month the prime time to plant the rice. So by the middle of this month, a lot of farmers more or less will have started to plant one of the major food of Nepal.
Due to these reasons, Dhan Diwas is celebrated on the Asadh 15th of Nepali Calender
How is Dhan Diwas Celebrated?
There is no specific rule to celebrate this Day. it is a day meant for farmers who plant Paddy or Dhan so they can celebrate this however they want. Although there are no specific rules, we do see a certain pattern that is common all through Nepal on how this day is celebrated. It goes something like this
- Go to Field
- Plant the Paddy
- Eat the Snacks
- Get a Bit Drunk
- Sing the Folk Songs
- Dance in Mud
- Roll Round in Mud
- Play Mud Holi with each other
- Drink some more
- Complete the plantation
This is the pattern that a lot of people follow. One of our members is a farmer and as per him, this is now Dhan Diwas usually goes for the people of his community and those he encounters during this day.
Where is this Day Celebrated?
The short answer to this question is, everywhere there is a rice plantation. This is a national festival and is an important day for the farmers so there is no specific location where this is celebrated. In urban areas, if you go to the outskirts of the town to the place where there are still farmlands, you can see quite a lot of people singing traditional songs and playing in the mud.
If you are in Kathmandu Valley and want to see Dhan Diwas being celebrated, you can go and visit places like Bungamati, Chapagaun, Dhapakhel, Thimi, and Machhegaun. These places still have a large farming community and a good bit of farmlands as well. Additionally, you can visit the outskirts of Hattiban and Lubhu as well if you want to celebrate Dhan Diwas. All you have to do is ask the people who are celebrating nearby and they will gladly welcome you to enjoy with them in the mud.
What are the local Songs for this Day?
There are tons of local songs that you can hear during this day but the sad part is, they remain local and not a lot of people know about that. Despite that, there have been a few that have managed to come out into the public. One of those songs is Asar ko Mahina sung by Sunil Parajuli. It is a beautiful song with a classic Nepal tune supported by a simple but classic-sounding voice.
Another one of these songs is Aasar ya Sinajya which has remained of the classic songs in the Nepali Community. It is rather an old video but it has the essence of the whole day. In the music video, you can also get a glimpse of how this day is celebrated.
These two songs are just a few ones that have managed to surface on Youtube. If you go into local areas you will find a lot of such songs all around Nepal with each locality having its own version of such songs.
What are the alternatives names of Dhan Diwas?
Although Dhan diwas is the official name for this day, it is not the most popular one. The most popular name for this day is Ropai Jatra. This name suits this day well as this day is primarily celebrated during Ropai or Rice plantation process. Besides this, it is also called Monsoon Diwas as it falls in the monsoon season and Dhai Chiura Khane Din. This last name literally means the day to eat curd and beaten rice.
The last name formed due to the traditional practice of eating beaten rice mixed with curd on said day.
Asadh 15 is an important day for the farmers and the agricultural community of Nepal. Not only does it appreciate the primary food of Nepal but also the people who grow foods as well. Along with that, it is a day that is meant to plant paddy and goof off while doing that- a combination that farmers can only do once every while. So it is no wonder why this day became an official festival of Nepal.
Also, unlike a lot of festivals which are either related to a tradition or a society, this is a unique festival that targets a certain profession which is quite rare if not the only one.
As always thank you for reading till the end. If you have any suggestions for us, do let us know them in the comments below.