National Paddy Day: A Celebration of Nepali Culture (Photo Feature))
Nepal is a land of agriculture, with rice being the most important crop. More than two-thirds of farming households depend on rice for their livelihoods and income, contributing to more than 7% of the country's GDP. It is, therefore, fitting that Nepal celebrates National Paddy Day, also known as Asar 15.
Asar 15 marks the beginning of the planting season in Nepal. Rice plantation in Nepal largely depends on rainfall, and the date has been fixed as a default date for celebrations since no one can be certain when most farmers will plant rice every year. On this day, the government focuses on promoting self-sufficiency in rice production by conserving the land for paddy cultivation, promoting clean and healthy seeds, expanding irrigation facilities, and developing hybrid and disease-resistant varieties.
Asar 15 is not only a day of celebration but also a reminder of the importance of rice in Nepali culture. It is customary to eat dahi-chiura, a mixture of curd and beaten rice, on this day. Even if the plantation is not done on Asar 15, farmers and locals still eat this combination to mark the day. Dahi-chiura is culturally distributed by the hands of elder persons. Eating dahi-chiura provides the body with energy, strength, and eases and speeds up the rest of the farming.
National Paddy Day is not limited to farmers. It carries tremendous significance for the Nepali population and portrays the country's rich agricultural heritage. It is a day for Nepali people to come together to celebrate and promote the importance of rice in Nepali culture.
In conclusion, National Paddy Day is a celebration of Nepali identity, and it is a reminder of the importance of agriculture in the country's economy. This day is not just about planting. It is about acknowledging the central role that rice plays in Nepali culture, history, and food. So, let us come together as a community to celebrate National Paddy Day and appreciate the hard work of Nepali farmers. Happy National Paddy Day!