Dasain was always a time for family reunions, feasting and rejoicing, but this year it was a subdued affair because it coincided with a surge in Covid-19 cases nationwide.
In past years, the traditional community bamboo swings and kite-flying were being replaced as mobile phones and television entertainment took over. Video games, drinking and boisterous merry-making had become the hallmarks of recent Dasains.
However, with most religious shrines also closed, this year saw somewhat of a revival in both kite-flying and community swings as most families celebrated the festival in more traditional ways to minimise contact.
In Bhaktapur, some people were swinging by the light of the moon late into the night. People of all ages took their turns throughout the day in a revival of this neighbourly activity.
There are two main types of swings in Nepal: the linge ping is a temporary bamboo swing made only for Dasain and Tihar, and the rote ping, a rotating ferris-wheel design that is used from year to year.
Both swings are an amalgamation of tradition, communal spirit and fun. The swings are constructed a week before the first day of the festival on Ghatasthapana and unusually dismantled only after Tihar. The height of the swing made of bamboo, tough grass and wood usually exceeds 8m.
There is also a belief that taking a spree on the swing allows one to leave the ground at least once during the great festival to obtain salvation.