His Majesty The King granted Dassain Tikka and blessings to representatives of the Hindu community at the Lingkana Palace in Thimphu on September 30.

A representative each from the 60 gewogs of Samtse, Sarpang, Dagana, Samdrupjongkhar, Chukha, and Tsirang were joined by other representatives of the Hindu community including the Hindu Dharma Samudaya.

The Durga Puja was held at the Lingkana Palace and conducted by priests from the Hindu Dharma Samudaya.

Dassain is one of the most important festivals of the Hindu community in Bhutan. According to Hindu scriptures, Dassain is celebrated to mark Rama’s victory over the demon king Ravana. Goddess Durga is said to have played a pivotal role in these victories, for which she is particularly worshipped during the Dassain festival.

The Tikka is an offering made to goddess Durga for peace, prosperity and happiness. Elders and parents place Dassain tika on the foreheads of their children and younger members, to impart blessings and protection to their family.

The Tikka used in the ceremony at the Lingkana Palace was sanctified from the Durga Puja. After being blessed by His Majesty, part of the Tikka was distributed through the Hindu mandir, and used in Tikka ceremonies across the homes of Hindu families.

Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay, and senior government officials also took part in the celebration. Dassain was declared a national holiday in 1980.

Staff Reporter