Gaura festival is one of the popular festivities of mid-west and far-western Nepal. The festival usually falls in the month of Bhadra which is between August and September. Starting from the day of Krishna Janmasthami (the birth of lord Krishna, considered to be a reincarnation of Vishnu) the festival is celebrated almost for three days.
During the celebration, the people worship Lord Shiva and his consort Parvati. Lord Ganesh who is the son of Shiva and Parvati is also worshiped. Deuda dance is one of the popular dance in far western society which is performed with mass participation during this festival.
It is called Deuda dance just because this dance is danced at the musical tunes of the song known as the Deuda song. The Deuda song is a collection of different folk tales and texts of goddesses Gauri who is the wife of God Shiva. Goddess Gauri is worshiped with great veneration by womenfolk during the Gaura festival.
The worshippers of Gauri pray for good health for their husbands and for prosperity and durable life. Deuda dance is performed by the local folks to unleash their sorrow, bruised feelings, and sentiments as well their happiness of life to their friends in mass.
To perform Deuda dance you just have to hold the hands of your partners next to you and dance. The dance is done in a circular chain while taking steps forwards or backward one or two times at the tune of the song. Both males and female including young and old alike hold hands and dance together in an open space where many people can watch and participate in the dance.
The dance is performed along with singing together known as ‘Juhari’ in the local dialect. According to Deuda dance tradition, sisters, brothers, same blood-related family members including uncles and aunties are not allowed to dance in one group. They should automatically choose to dance in a different group.
During this festival various types of deuda dances like Rahei Deuda, Thadi Bhakha Deuda are performed by men and women. The people of Achhaam, Darchula, Dailekh, Jumla, Kalikod, Baitadi, Dadeldhura and Bajura generally proactively participate in this festival across this region.
During the festival, the temples of Gauri are well decorated with flowers. People give various offerings to the Goddess Gauri which is known as Biruda.
Local legend has it that this festival is being observed for the last four centuries to commemorate Shiva’s wife Satidevi’s sacrifice of her body to the burning altar and regaining reincarnation in the form of Parbati in the Himalayan region. In the wake of the visit year 2020, such festivals might create attractions for the tourists.
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