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August 4, 2020

Gaijatra festival being observed


Kathmandu: Gaijatra festival is being observed across the country with great pomp and show. The festival celebration especially connected with the Newar community of Kathmandu valley is now celebrated as one of the national festivals of Nepal.

Gaijatra festival was initially started by King Pratap Malla to appease his sad queen for losing her young son. The king wanted to show to the queen that every family suffers from the sorrows of death. So, the king had asked his subjects to carry out a procession in the memory of their dead ones.

The king had asked his citizens to make the sad queen laugh by taking a procession of cows through the town. The queen, at last, came to her normal life realizing that everyone in the town has gone through the demise of someone they loved.

This day and festival, later on, got twisted into a day of celebration when anyone can make sardonic remarks at others besides carrying on the very legacy of the ancient festival.

So, this day gives extra freedom for the media persons and parody makers to target corrupt politicians, social leaders, businessman, actors or actresses to expose their characters to the public which are not considered as offensive for it is taken as a means of amusement and way of correcting the malfunctioning practices of the society and politics.

Gayajtra procession
Gayajtra procession

Since cows are not available these days so kids are dressed as cows and asked to lead the street procession of Gaijatra.

The day is also celebrated as the worship of the god of death or “Yamraj.” Usually, this day of celebration falls in the month of August. Tourists inside Kathmandu valley are seen busy in taking photographs and videos of this cultural festival. Indeed enough the festival provides an interesting vantage point for the tourists to see the live cultural performances which are rare.

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