Thursday Aug 11, 2022
Thursday Aug 11, 2022

The 'cow festival', Gaijatra being observed


Nepalnews
2021 Aug 23, 8:33, Kathmandu

Gaijatra or the ‘cow festival’ is being observed starting today in three cities of Kathmandu Valley.  The festival of cow is celebrated in the Kathmandu Valley to commemorate the death of loved ones. It is a festival of dancing, singing, mirth, and laughter.

The festival, beginning on the first day of the waning moon in the month of Bhadra (Bhadra Pratiprada) as per the lunar calendar and lasts for a week. During this time-honored tradition, people of all ages in the disguise of cows and lunatics go around the city, wearing odd costumes to commemorate those who died during the past year. 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 time of King Pratap Malla, who, in a bid to console his queen, grieved at the death of her son in a smallpox epidemic and ordered his people to organize humor and satire programs in various comic postures. This tradition remained continued in the form of the Gaijatra festival during which people also vent out their feelings towards social and political anomalies, human follies, and other contemporary affairs through comic skits, cartoons, and the like.

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

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