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The arrival of monsoon is marked by the month of Asar in the Nepali calendar. The 15th day in the month of Asar (or Aashadh), that falls in June is popularly called Asar 15. This day is celebrated mostly by the farmers in Darjeeling hills, Sikkim and Nepal as important agriculture festival.

Asar is the month of Ropain (rice plantation) celebration. From this day most farmers starts planting new seedlings of rice crops of the year in their paddies. The month of Asar is favourable for paddy cultivation due to the rainy season that prevails during this month.

Traditionally ploughing drawn by oxen, Sindibong, Kalimpong. Photo: Praveen Chettri
New seedlings of rice crops are ready to be planted. Samthar, Kalimpong Photo: Praveen Chettri

Farmers in the villages get really busy working on their paddy fields hence the term Asar ko Pandra which is often used to signify haste or busy.To save more time to plant rice seedlings, farmers prepare an easy and healthy meal with Dahi (Curd) and Chiura (Beaten Rice).

Both men and women participate in rice plantation. Men take the responsibility of ploughing the fields using ox, arranges drain water and make fine mud slurry field while women gather the seedlings and plant them.

Planting rice is a celebration and various games are organised such as race in the muddy field, mud holi, planting the allotted field, dance and eat beaten rice with yoghurt (Dahi-Chiura).

Villagers participate in paddy plantations. Photo: Praveen Chettri

Villagers participate in paddy plantations. Photo: Praveen Chettri
The festival helps unify the local villagers because every household sends a member to support other families during the festival. Our culture is about festivities and merrymaking which is also reflected in our work that is the sign of success to have a good harvest. The day is well marked even in the urban towns at least by taking beaten rice with curd.

Paddy fields, Samthar, Kalimpong. Photo: Praveen Chettri

Asare bhaka or Asare jhyaure geet is the famous folk tune/song that is sung in the paddy fields during rice plantation this month which describe joys and pains of farming life.

दहि चिऊरा र आषाढ़को पन्द्रह, एका दुसरामा सम्पुरक मानिन्छ नेपाली जनगणमा, विशेषत्: धान खेती गरीने जगहमा प्रचलित ।

असारको पन्द्रहलाई हतारको समय, बात विबाद गरीने ठाउँ नै नभएको ।

अर्को तिर "दहि चिऊरे " जनजिब्रोमा केहि नकरात्मक रुपमा प्रयोग गरीने , अर्थात - जो जता मन पर्यो ऊत्तै संलग्न हुने ब्यक्ति विशेष ।

ऊप्रान्त : यो दहि चिऊरा खाद्यान्न मा केरा पनि मिसाईने प्रचलन हुन्दछ ।

धेरै अघि - धान नाचमा गाइने गीतमा:-

असारे रोपाइँ - मङ्सिरे दांई -

यी आजकल सुनिन सकिन्न ।

Areal photo of paddy fields. Samthar, Kalimpong. Photo: Praveen Chettri


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