Traditional festival of “Gai Jatra” was celebrated in Nepal mainly in Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur, Kirtipur, Pokhara on Monday (August 16th, 2019).
Here are 25 photos that we selected from Instagram in no particular order.
1. Lakhe Dance in Basantpur.
“Gai Jatra” which translates to Festival of Cows commemorates the death of people during the year and is generally. The date is set according to the lunar Nepal Era calendar: it falls on the first day of the dark fortnight of the month of [Gunla].
2. Nyatapole, Bhaktapur
It is celebrated to diminish the sadness from the death of family members. During the festival, cows are marched in the streets. People also distribute food to others.
The whole complex of Gai Jatra festival has its roots in the ancient ages when people feared and worshiped Yamaraj, the god of death. However, the ironic sessions synonymous with the Gai Jatra festival entered the tradition in the medieval period of Nepal during the reign of the Malla Kings. Hence, the present form of Gaijatra is a happy blending of antiquity and the medieval era. (wikipedia)
3. Gai Jatra was also celebrated in Pokhara.
According to the traditions since time immemorial, every family who has lost one relative during the past year must participate in a procession through the streets of Kathmandu leading a cow. If a cow is unavailable then a young boy dressed as a cow is considered a fair substitute. (wikipedia)
5. In Pokhara
In Hinduism, a cow is regarded the most venerated among all the domestic animals. It is believed that the cow, revered as a holy animal by Hindus, will help the deceased relative’s journey to heaven. (wikipedia)
According to the historical evidence, when King Pratap Malla lost his son, his wife, the queen, remained grief-stricken. The king was very sad to see the condition of his beloved queen. The king, in spite of several efforts, could not lessen the grief of his wife. To show his wife that death is a natural part of life, he called on people for a carnival if someone has died in their family. Many people came which showed the queen that it is not only her son had died somebody has died in every family in this festival. (wikipedia)
10. Traditionally dressed Newari men wearing topi’s and playing instruments, and agile youngsters in scary costumes dancing their heart out.