Dashain celebrated across Nepal

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Kathmandu, Oct 9 (UNI) Bijaya Dashami, known as Dussehra in India, was celebrated across Nepal, with children eating delicious dishes and receiving tika and blessings from the elders.

Most of the government offices and private insitutions are closed for about a week to mark the national festival.

A large number of animals are sacrificed during the Dashain, the greatest Hindu festival, which is being criticised by human rights organisations.

The monarchy used to sacrifice animals in various shrines during the Dashain festival in the past, but this is the first time that the festival is being celebrated after the abolition of monarchy.

A large number of people used to visit the palace but this time the ousted king Gyanendra celebrated Dashain in a low-key manner with his family members and close friends.

President Rambaran Yadav issued a statement extending his best wishes on the occasion of Bada Dashain today.

''I pray for the happiness, peace and prosperity of all Nepalese living in Nepal or elsewhere,'' he said.

In his message, the President has said on this great occasion, his heart goes out to the people affected by floods this year.

All Nepalese need to increase goodwill among various ethnic groups and communities to strengthen unity,'' he said, adding, ''We also need to write a new democratic constitution within the time stipulated by the interim constitution. The future of Nepal and Nepalese will be bright only if we can fulfil these tasks.'' Likewise, former prime minister Girija Prasad Koirala, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda' and leaders of various political parties have also extended best wishes on the happy occasion.

UNI XC PD PM1525

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