Chaite Dashain falls generally in the final month, Chaitra, of Bikram Sambat calendar. It is known as Chaite Dashain or Small Dashain. The big Dashain falls in autumn.
It is almost the last festival in Nepali calendar year. After this festival, we have a new year ahead within few days. This festival has two days of celebration. First day is Ram Navami (The birth day of Lord RamChandra) and second day is Dashami. Some part of Nepal and India, Chaite Dashain is called Chaitra Navaratri.
This festival has same days of importance as the 10 days of Bijaya Dashami even though it is publicly celebrated for 2 days.
Chaite Dashain is celebration of the victory of good over evil.
Related: Dashain Festival of Sikkim
When is Ram Nawami and Chaite Dashain
Ram Navami is on Chaitra Sukla Navami according to Hindu lunar calendar. It is on Chaitra 2072 that is on April 2015. Ram Nawami and Chaite Dashain together also known as Sano Dashain (Small Dashain). Ram Nawami is followed by Chaite Dashain and Chaite Dashain is on April -- 2016. (----- 2073)
How do we celebrate Chaite Dashain
People keep fasting in the day of Ram Nawami and visit temples of Lord Ram. In Chaite Dashain day Goddess Durga is worshiped and animal sacrifices are made in some temples especially in temples of Durga Bhawani. Number of water buffalos, goats, chicken and ducks are sacrificed in Hanuman Dhoka Durbar Square in Kathmandu and Bhaktapur Durbar square.
This festival is the public holiday in Nepal. People enjoy the day off with their family and friends. People eat good food and invite relatives and loved one for the feast.
Story Behind the celebrating Chaite Dashain
Ram Nawami is birthday of Lord Ram Chandra and Chaite Dashain is the day when Lord Ram came back to Ayodhaya with his wife Sita, brother Laxman, Hanuman and his military after 14 years of his exile. People of Ayudhya celebrated this day as a festival and this started the trend.
In Hinduism, Lord Ram is the incarnation of Lord Vishnu. He is known as Maryada Purusottam Ram. He was dutiful and obeying. He was a great king, good husband and a great son. He showed the example of what human should be.
He set an example of a son by accepting his exile for 14 year from his country only to fulfill his father’s promise. He set an example of a caring and loving king, who sent his wife to forest again to satisfy his countrymen. He was a loving husband who was always loyal to his wife Sita. He did not marry anyone even for the biggest Yagya, Ashwamegh Yagya. He put golden statue of Sita with him to perform the Yagya. (Wife should be present together with the man performing this Yagya.) Ram Chantra is an example of a man. Ramayana is a way of living epic.
Ravan was the king of Lanka. He was one of the most brilliant persons living in his age. He was an engineer and a scientist. He was the first one to fry aircraft and first one to use bio diesel about 5000 years ago. He had ten heads and could think equally with all his ten heads. The ten heads signifies, his brilliance, he was ten times brilliant than anyone living those days on the earth. He was believed to be brilliant enough to build a flying device. The aircraft made by Ravan is called Puspak Biman. He was very hard working and brilliant but he was too arrogant. He was not allowing saints and god believing people to perform their worship and started thinking himself as a God. He was very impressed by beauty of Sita and abducted her from the forest and flew her to Lanka in his Puspak Biman. Ram after a long battle killed him and freed Sita. The kingdom was given in the safe hands of Ravan’s brother Bibhisan.
The victory of lord Ram over Ravan is symbolically regarded as the victory of human being over the ten sense organs, five belonging to knowledge and 5 to the actions of us Human Beings. It is said Ram Chandra worshiped Goddess Durga Bhawani for 9 days before Ravan was killed. Therefore, these 9 days are regarded as worship days and tenth day is the victory day to take Prasad.
People used to celebrate the big Dashain (Bada Dashain) during this time. But due to the start of summer, people started suffering a lot form health problem due to heavy food they eat during this festival. Therefore, the same festival is moved to autumn with same celebration.