KATHMANDU: If it wasn't for the COVID-19 outbreak, then the family of Mira Adhikari, a housewife who lost her job due to the coronavirus pandemic, would have gone to their ancestral house for Dashain celebration.
With Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli-led administration urging people to celebrate the festival in their homes, Mira Adhikari's family dropped the plan of visiting Tanahun, their ancestral home that is around 150 kilometers away from capital Kathmandu.
"Every year during Dashain we used to gather at our ancestral home where all our relatives would come and meet. This year we celebrated it in our own home. We didn't go to our village," Mira told ANI.
The tenth day of Dashain, which also is known as Bijaya Dashami, one of the most important days of the fortnightly festival observed by Hindus in Nepal sees elders putting Tika on the forehead of the young ones along with Jamara.
With the rising number of COVID-19 infection in the Himalayan nation chances of further spread of contagion remains high at the annual festival witnessed by millions around the country.
Over the months, the government has issued several warnings to people about possible rise in cases if the movement around the nation increases. Although the number of people rushing to their homes this year has stayed low in comparison to previous years, the fear of spread of coronavirus remains high.
Last week, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli in his address to the nation had urged people to celebrate Dashain at their residence to maintain social distance.
President Bidya Devi Bhandari wishing people on the occasion of Bijaya Dashami has requested people to celebrate it with caution and awareness.
Vice President Nanda Bahadur Pun, Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Nepali Congress (NC) President Sher Bahadur Deuba have also appealed to confine this year's Dashain within family members in the house following health safety protocols.