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  • The first harvest of paddy is received into the house with due ceremony, with rice, curd and a lighted wick.

  • Fruits and flowers may be stolen but whoever steals a pumpkin will grow a goiter.

  • Don’t point at the fruit in a tree with your finger; the fruit will go bad.

  • The bachelor’s button is essential for ceremonies during the Tihar festival.  Because the flower keeps fresh for a long time, it is a symbol of longevity.

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Bachelor’s button

  • The red rhododendron is Nepal’s national flower.  It is found in the hills at an altitude of about 6,000 feet from the sea level.  The colour of the flower changes to a light pink in higher altitudes.

  • The peepul tree is sacred as it is believed to be the god Narayana; only a Brahman may pull it out.  On all the main trails in many parts of the hills, platforms known as chautara are built and peepul and banyan trees provide shelter and shade for travellers. The construction of the platform is more than a public service.  It is the joining of the two trees in sacred wedlock.  The peepul is also the haunt of the goddess Kumari.

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    Children playing on a banyan tree

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Leaves of the peepul tree

  • Neither the banana nor the bamboo should be grown near a house.  The man who plants these must not let his shadow fall on the plant;  for if he does, the plant will not grow.  On the other hand, if the man steps into the shadow cast by the plant, he will die.  If a bamboo bears flowers, the man who owns it will die.  The bamboo must not be cut down on Sunday.

  • The tamarind tree must not be grown near a house either.

    Image result for photo of tamarind treeTamarind fruit

  • The palm tree is sacred in Patan.  It was brought to the town centuries back along with Machhendranath, the patron saint of the town.  The tree must not be cut down but it may be killed by driving a nail into it.  It must be allowed to grow wherever it takes root.  If it grows inside a house, a hole is made through the roof so that it can grow unchecked.

  • When a tree has to be cut down in a forest, it is customary to worship Ban Devi, the goddess of the forest.

  • The tulsi (balsam) plant is sacred and is grown in a pot or in a specially raised platform in the courtyard in many homes.

  • The kush is a sacred grass needed for certain religious ceremonies.  The dubo used as an offering to the gods is evergreen because the crow is said to have wiped its beak upon the grass after taking amrit, the elixir of life.

    Dubo Grass Garland – (हरियो दुबो घास को माला)

  • The seeds of the rudraksha tree (eleocarpus ganitrus) are used to make rosaries.  A seed without crinkles is very rare.  There is believed to be only one seed in Kathmandu – in the temple of Pashupati.  To test if the seed without crinkles is genuine, pour some water upon it and it should rise up with the steam of water.

    Image result for rudraksha tree imagesRudraksha seed specimens

  • The lotus is the seat of some gods.

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  • The Kalpabrisksha is a mythical tree that bears anything one can wish for.

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