Ashar-15, National Paddy Day

SRISTI
Updated on June 26, 2024
Ashar-15, National Paddy Day

National Paddy Day in Nepal is celebrated annually on the 15th of Ashar. This day marks the commencement of the rice plantations all around Nepal. It is also known as Ropain Diwas, Dhan Diwas, and Ashar Pandhra. Ashar 15 is also popular as the day of eating curd, beaten rice along with seasonal fruits like mango and banana. In Nepal, the Monsoon begins in June and lasts until September. 

National Paddy Day is celebrated by planting paddy saplings in the field. The growers wear a Nepali traditional dress, men wear Daura suruwal, while women wear Gunyo choli. Both men and women have equal responsibility in the rice plantation ceremony. Men plough the field, arrange drainage water, and make the field level perfect for rice plantations, while women continuously plant the rice sapling. They enjoy the rice-planting ceremony by splashing mud on each other and after that, they eat a traditional dish of curd and beaten rice along with fruits like banana and mango. They also end the day by dancing and singing folk songs, while some communities organize cultural programs. 

History of National Paddy Day

Nepal is a landlocked country and agriculture is the main occupation. So, many people are dependent on agriculture, and rice plantation day is one of the most auspicious festivals for Nepalese. The Nepal Government formally announced Ashar 15 as the national paddy day on December 14, 2004. The theme of the paddy day is ‘’ Increase rice production for self-sufficiency and prosperity.” 

Tradition 

There is a tradition of celebrating the national rice day by playing in the mud, singing and dancing in the folklore, and ending the cultivation by eating yogurt and beaten rice with fruits. The Ashar 15 is celebrated via events and cultural programs in the community by locals, NGOs, the Nepal Government, and others. 

Tourism

Every year, tourists visit Nepal in the monsoon season to celebrate National Paddy Day. This season is not favorable for trekking and doing adventure sports, so tourists come mainly to celebrate Asadh Pandhra or National Paddy Day. This festival is part of agrotourism, which encourages the farmers to continue their jobs. The foreigner can participate in a volunteer program and make people aware of the importance of agriculture in rural areas. 

Promoting Agriculture and Cultural Heritage:

National Paddy Day is also celebrated by participating in volunteer work if you are in urban areas. You can be aware people about the importance of this day as well as the importance of farming and agriculture for long-term development in the community, hospitals, schools, and society. This is a platform to raise awareness about the sustainable development of agricultural practices, the importance of farming in long-term development, safeguarding indigenous seeds, and plants, and the urge for environmental protection.

The paddy planting festival holds cultural significance for rice in Nepalese society. Rice is eaten as dinner and lunch in the Nepali household. Rice is interwoven with the tradition, customs, and celebration of Nepalese society. There is a celebration named “Pasni “ where a six-month-old baby is given a solid mixture made of rice. Nepalese believe that a newborn baby's first grain should be rice, so they make a variety of foods from rice. The celebration of National Paddy Day helps to promote the role of rice in the lifestyle of Nepalese people. 

Conclusion

In Nepal, National Paddy Day plays a vital role in the promotion of agriculture in the Nepali community. While devoted to the economy of the country, this day brings unity and cooperation among community members. It also functions as a thread between deep-rooted tradition and culture through paddy planting. It symbolizes hope, unity, and the preservation of the agricultural legacy in Nepal. 

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