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Bisket Jatra

Nepal is a multi-lingual, multi-cultural, and multi-religious country, and it has been always known for its different cultures, languages, religion, and festivals celebrated. Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, and Lalitpur are famous for Newar’s and their culture and lots of festivals. Every year number of festivals and Jatras are celebrated in these cities.

These all festivals are celebrated as per the solar eclipse but there is one festival that is celebrated as per Lunar eclipse, and it is Bisket Jatra. This festival is one of the main festivals of Newar which is celebrated every year in April. This festival lasts for 9 days.

This festival is celebrated in different parts of Kathmandu valley and all over Nepal. The Jatra is celebrated inside the Bhaktapur Durbar Square but people also celebrate in Dhapasi, Thimi, Tokha, and other parts according to their local culture.

History

 

It is believed that the celebration of BisketJatra was introduced during the Malla dynasty. This festival starts four days before the Nepali New Year. There are many stories related to the celebration of this Jatra.

According to the myths, there was a beautiful princess but she was unmarried because whomever the princess marries, the next day he was found dead in the room. One day a brave young man came and said he wanted to marry the princess.

He stayed the whole night awake to find out the reason why all those grooms died. On the night he saw 2 snakes coming out from the two nostrils of the princess. He took out the long sword and bravely cut off the snakes and he was found alive the next morning.

From that day onward people started celebrating BisketJatra to celebrate the survival of the groom, and his success.

How is it celebrated?

 

BisketJatra is a festival that is celebrated for nine days. This festival is mainly celebrated in Bhaktapur inside the Durbar Square area. This Jatra starts 4 days before Nepali New Year and ends on the 9th day.

On the first day of Jatra, the chariots (rath) of Bhairab are pulled with the help of long and strong 8 ropes fromTaumadhitole to 200 m ahead Gaheti. People worship Bhairab, Lingha, and other gods and goddesses. Other days Bhairab is inside the temple but during the Jatra, Bhairab is placed on the chariots.

On the fourth day of Jatra, the last day of the year big Linga,the wooden pole that is 25 m long is raised and erected and it is the symbol of the beginning of Jatra and Bhoj.

On the 5th day, New Year Day, the linga is laid down on the ground. People believe if it is successfully done then the villagers will have good fortune.  Two groups are made and tough of war is done between the two groups. The group which wins can take the chariot to their town and at last again the chariots are taken to Taumadhi near 5 storied Temple.

On the 6th day of Jatra,SindhurJatra is celebrated in Thimi. People play their cultural musical instruments and celebrate the day by throwing and spreading Sindhuri.e. Simrik color on each other by welcoming and providing warm greeting.

The local volunteers also pierce their tongue with an iron spike and walks around the whole town with the chariots. People celebrate this festival with a lot of joy and play their cultural musical instruments, and enjoy the festival.

This is one of the important festivals of the Newar community which is celebrated with great enthusiasm and joy for 9 days.

-Article written by: Kusum Kharel for Land Nepal

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