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Nepal's annual festival of "Cow" commemorates the dead

News Agencies | Updated on: 8 August 2017, 19:02 IST

Durbar Square of Nepal capital Kathmandu saw people from all walks of life gather to observe and celebrate the annual festival of "The Cow".

Some dressed as cows, while others held up garlanded posters and photographs of cows.

This traditional festival has been observed by Kathmandu Valley residents for centuries and is popularly known as "Gai Jatra" or "The Cow Festival".

This festival commemorates the dear and near ones who have passed. A person who has lost his or her family member comes to the Durbar Square to receive alms from others.

Shrijan Bhakta Shrestha, a citizen, told ANI, "My name is Shrijan Bhakta Shrestha, I reside in Nakhipot. My father-in-law Kamal Narayan Shrestha passed away last year. So, we undertook a Gai Jatra."

This annual festival of commemorating the dead ones falls on the first day of the waning moon on Bhadra Shukla Pratipada and is mostly observed by Newari and Tharu communities of Nepal.

Another citizen, Uddhav Kumar Shrestha, told ANI, "The Gai Jatra is our ancestral tradition which is continued even now also. The house which faces difficulties following the death of a member comes for this festival with the hope and prayer of not facing further trouble, sorrow and pain. They come to enjoy the time in this procession."

The Newar community of Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Lalitpur takes part in this festival, which is also marked with a mockery on the wrong doings of politicos and other concerned groups through the means of drama, music and other means of performance.

This ancient tradition is said to have started from 500 Nepal Sambat (popular amongst the Newari Community of Nepal). Historians have claimed that people use to glorify the deeds of the deceased through songs and hymns in order to inform and encourage others.

It is believed that cow tails help the deceased get across the Baitarni, a legendary river to goes to heaven.

The persons who are demonstrated with attire of cow also have an artificial tail which has the same propose.


First published: 8 August 2017, 19:02 IST