People busy in planting paddy/File Photo
KATHMANDU: National Paddy Day (popularly known as Asar 15) is being observed today.
The day is marked as the beginning of paddy plantation. Farmers are celebrating Asar 15, across the hilly and Tarai regions of Nepal today.
This day carries a unique and national significance among the farmers of Nepal, a country where the principle economy is chiefly based on agriculture.
The month Asar (Mid June-Mid July) is a favorable month for paddy cultivation due to the rainy season. The government also officially endorsed the tradition to celebrate Asar 15 as National Paddy Day (Dhan Diwas).
The government had decided in 2061 BS to mark Ashad 15 of the Nepali calendar every year as National Paddy Day and Paddy Cultivation Festival.
Rice plantation, eating delicacies like curd and beaten rice, and participating in traditional cultural programs like singing, throwing mud at each other and merriment, are the major attractions of the day.
Paddy is the major crop not only in Nepal but in the entire South Asia.
The government aims to attain 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.
Paddy is cultivated on 47 percent of the total cultivable land in Nepal.
The Day is also celebrated by eating beaten rice and curd.