Gai Jatra

Gai Jatra is a festival celebrated primarily in the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal. It is celebrated in the month of Bhadra (August/September) and lasts for eight days.

The festival has its roots in Hindu mythology and is celebrated to honor the souls of the departed. According to legend, the god Yama, who is the lord of death, would take away the souls of the recently departed to the afterlife. However, the souls would be unhappy and would cry for their loved ones left behind. To appease them, the king of Kathmandu, Pratap Malla, started the tradition of Gai Jatra.

During the festival, families who have lost a loved one in the past year will lead a cow, which is considered a sacred animal in Hinduism, through the streets. The cow is decorated with flowers and other ornaments and is believed to help guide the souls of the departed to the afterlife. People dress up in colorful costumes, wear masks, and dance through the streets, often in a comical manner, to help ease the sadness of the bereaved families.

The festival is also a celebration of life and the triumph of the human spirit over death. It is a time for people to come together, share their grief, and support one another. Gai Jatra is an important festival in Nepal, and it reflects the country’s unique blend of Hindu and Buddhist traditions.

Author: lekbesi


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