Tamang community celebrates Temal Jatra (Photo feature)

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Apr 10, 2017-People from Tamang community are celebrating Temal Jatra on Monday.

The Temal Jatra, celebrated at the Boudhanath Stupa every year, marks the time of the rain’s arrival.

The term “Temal” is sometimes considered a synonym of the word “Tamang”. Thousands of Tamangs come together during the festival, which is celebrated a day before the full moon in the Nepali month of Chaitra.

During the festival, Tamangs from all over Nepal come to the Stupa to offer butter lamps (nangsal) and prayers.

Some even observe fasts and pray at nearby monasteries. They rotate the prayer wheels while singing the ‘Phapare Geet’.

For many youngsters, the festival night, which is marked by singing and dancing, is also a chance to find love.

The Jatra also provides an opportunity for family members and relatives from all over the country to gather and pay homage to their loved ones who have passed away.

They do this by lighting butter lamps and offering rice grains to the gods. There is a belief that these offerings will help the departed souls achieve nirvana or moksha.

But for the locals of Boudha, the festival is also a time to make some extra income, which they do by setting up stalls selling incense sticks, wicks, oil and ghee for lamps, as well as food.

According to a story about the origin of the Boudhanath Stupa, it was built to end a long spell of drought.

Because the drought would not end, the people of the surrounding areas started hanging pieces of cloth on their roofs all night to collect dew drops.

In the morning, they would squeeze the drops into a vessel and use the water collected to build the Stupa. The Stupa took 12 years to complete.

And true to a prophecy revealed to the then ruler, when the construction ended, the rains arrived. 

Photos: Milan Adhikari

Published: 10-04-2017 12:08

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