By Sharad KC

The month of October is here, and it is, undoubtedly, my favorite month of the year! The festivals, exquisite weather, and harvests are some of the things that make it the best. This year, as always, I am looking forward to make the most of this opportunity to enjoy my life.

First of all, Dashain and Tihar, two main festivals we celebrate in Nepal, are right around the corner. Dashain is a festival that lasts over 15 days in total, but the real fun begins on the seventh day when the holiday officially commences. This is the time of year when I am able to gather with my family, friends, and relatives, both near and distant. We get to share our progress, rehash old memories, play cards, and most importantly, eat as much as we can in preparation for the cold winter ahead. While both Dashain and Tihar are similar in that they revolve around family gatherings and celebration, they are observed for different reasons. Tihar lasts for five days, and is a celebration of humans and animals, including crows, dogs, cows, and oxen. On the final day of the festival, brothers and sisters put Tika on each other as well as share gifts, love, and respect. As a brother of two older sisters, this day has always been special for me. We get to go down memory lane to share all the good times we have had over the years. Trust me, when you have two older sisters there are only good memories!

Apart from the festivals, October is also harvest time. As usual, I love the fact that I can pick guava from my balcony, but this year has been extra special for me. It was only when I went to the United States that I learned of the avocado fruit, and I have been a fan of it ever since. This year, my four-year-old avocado tree produced fruit for the first time and plenty of it!

Finally, the wet and humid monsoon weather is over, and while the days are warm, I can feel the coolness of fall in the air come nightfall. For these reasons, I am ready to enjoy this fabulous month of joy and happiness.