Dancing to Ubhauli tunes

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu

May 17, 2011-

People from the Kirat community celebrated Sakela Ubhauli festival across the country on Tuesday.

Kirat people living in the Capital gathered at Nakkhipot in Lalitpur in traditional attire to celebrate the festival. They performed traditional ‘Sakela’ dance to the beats of Kirati percussion instruments known as ‘Dhol’ and ‘Jhyamta.’ The festival was jointly organised by Kirat Rai Yayokha, Kirat Yakha Chumma, Sunwar Sewar Sama and Kirat Yakthung Chumlung.

People of Kirat descent such as Rai, Limbu, Sunuwar and Yakha celebrate Ubhauli every year during Baisakh Purnima (full moon day in the month of Baishak). Traditionally, the festival is celebrated as a prayer to

Mother Nature for healthy crops and protection from natural calamities.

Ubhauli marks the time of the year for cultivation, said Kirat culture expert Bulu Mukarung. He said Kirat families in villages celebrate the festival by offering prayers. “Usually, hens are sacrificed to appease the deities. The priest signals the completion of rituals by starting Sakela dance.”

Sakela dance imitates different activities of humans and animals to symbolise the beginning of Kirat civilisation from the hunting stage to the farming stage.

Published: 18-05-2011 09:03

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