Gaijatra celebration - 2017 [in pictures]

- Post Report, RSS, Kathmandu

Aug 8, 2017-Photos: Sanjog Manandhar

The traditional Gaijatra festival (cow festival) is being observed from Tuesday in the three cities of Kathmandu Valley and some other places.

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

The festival, beginning on the first day of the waning moon in the month of Bhadra as per the lunar calendar, lasts for a week.

Families who have lost their relative during the past year organise a procession, or dress a boy as the animal, and march around the city to make sure their lost loved one has a place in heaven.

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

This festival is believed to have started during the reign of King Pratap Malla, who 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 tradition has been continued in the form of the Gaijatra festival during which people also give vent to pent-up feelings towards social and political anomalies, human follies and other contemporary affairs through comic skits, cartoons and the like.

Newspapers and magazines also bring out special humour and satire supplements to mark the occasion.

The day is a public holiday in Kathmandu Valley. Apart from Kathmandu Valley, the festival is also observed in Banepa, Dhulikhel, Trishuli, Dolakha, Khotang, Bhojpur, Chainpur, Ilam, Dharan, Biratnagar, Birgunj, Hetauda and Pokhara.

Published: 08-08-2017 18:02

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