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Gaijatra being celebrated in Kathmandu (In pics)

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Aug 30, 2015-

People flocked at Basantapur Durbar Square in the Capital since early Sunday morning to celebrate Gai Jatra 'Cow festival'. Young boys with their faces smeared in mascara and painted as cows paraded barefoot along the streets of Hanumandhoka area.

Gai Jatra is one of the popular festivals that is celebrated mainly in the Capital.

Families who have lost a relative during the past year lead a cow in the procession, or dress a boy as the animal, to make sure their lost loved one has a place in heaven. According to legend, people walked through the mythical Baitarni River holding the tail of a cow to reach heaven.

During the 17th century Nepal's ruler, King Pratap Malla, is said to have invited people to march in costumes and perform stunts and plays in front of his palace to make his grief-stricken wife feel better after the death of their son. The queen eventually smiled and accepted the loss of her son. Many people believe the parade has continued ever since.

During the parade, the participants wear fancy paper headdresses to impersonate cows, as well as white loin cloths and loose saffron vests. Likewise, if the family has lost a female member, the boys sport female-attire.

The bereaved families offer fruits, bread, beaten rice, curd and money to those participating in the procession including the cows.

Published: 30-08-2015 11:38

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