Dashain is one of the most ambivalent festivals in the world. There are plenty of community building activities, such as flying kites and building bamboo swings called "ping". The kites are flown to remind the spirits that no rain should be sent anymore; while the swings symbolise the solid community and fun together.
On the other hand, it is believed that the gods may be entertained by sacrificing thousands of domestic animals. Fields around temples are therefore often covered in the blood of buffaloes, ducks and other animals.
The festival lasts for fifteen days between September and October, and the slaughter continues with two days of highest peaks. It is a major event for Nepalese, and they start preparations a week prior to the festival. However, many animal protection groups call the festival inhumane and cruel.
Dashain is also celebrated by the Buddhist communities of Nepal and honours the adoption of Buddhism and Ahimsa principles by Ashoka, one of the most powerful emperors of India. So if you happen to be in Kathmandu or other cities in Nepal at this time of year, make sure to join the locals.