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Gai Jatra

August 27, 2018,  0 comments

Gai Jatra

Gai Jatra, (Gai means Cow and Jatra means festival in Nepali) is a festival celebrated in Nepal, mainly in Kathmandu valley by the Newar community. The festival commemorates the death of people during the year and is generally celebrated in the month of Bhadra (August–September). The date is set according to the lunar Nepal Era calendar.

According to the historical evidence, when King Pratap Malla (1641-1674) lost his second eldest son, Chakrabartendra, who had a most unfortunate death, being trampled by an elephant. His mother, the queen, remained grief-stricken. The king was very sad to see the condition of his beloved queen. The king tried several efforts to lessen the grief of his wife but none of them worked out. To show her that death is natural phenomenon of life, he called on people for a carnival arranging a parade in which one member of every family that had suffered a loss that year would take part. He ordered that they dress up in crazy and flashy costumes and drag a colorfully decorated cow along behind them. Those who didn’t have a cow could have someone dressed up as a cow. Thus, many people participated in this carnival which made the queen realize that it was not only her son who died.

 

Today 27th August 2018, Gai Jatra festival is being observed in Nepal, mainly in Kathmandu valley by the Newar community. Gai Jatra, (Gai means Cow and Jatra means festival in Nepali) is a festival celebrated in Nepal, mainly in Kathmandu valley by the Newar community. The festival commemorates the death of people during the year and is generally celebrated in the month of Bhadra (August–September). The date is set according to the lunar Nepal Era calendar. According to the historical evidence, when King Pratap Malla (1641-1674) lost his second eldest son, Chakrabartendra, who had a most unfortunate death, being trampled by an elephant. His mother, the queen, remained grief-stricken. The king was very sad to see the condition of his beloved queen. The king tried several efforts to lessen the grief of his wife but none of them worked out. To show her that death is natural phenomenon of life, he called on people for a carnival arranging a parade in which one member of every family that had suffered a loss that year would take part. He ordered that they dress up in crazy and flashy costumes and drag a colorfully decorated cow along behind them. Those who didn’t have a cow could have someone dressed up as a cow. Thus, many people participated in this carnival which made the queen realize that it was not only her son who died.

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