The traditional cultural festival ‘Gaijatra’, which is celebrated for eight days from Bhadra Krishna Pratipada to Ashtami, is being launched across the country today by organizing various programs.
Today, in the memory of the relatives who have passed away within a year, a cow or a person is decorated as a cow and circulated in their respective areas and they are given milk, fruits, bread, chewing gum, curd as well as grains and substances by the devotees.
There is a religious belief that by doing this in the city, people who die during the year cross the Vaitarani holding the tail of a cow.
It is a historical fact that the festival was started on the basis of King Pratap Malla’s order to the people to go around the city in the name of the dead in their homes to show that the world should also mourn his queen who was overwhelmed with grief.
As the queen’s mind could not be calmed by this, it is rumored that satire has been practiced as per the order to hold various comedy and satire programs.
The practice of passing through the palace at Hanuman Dhoka, which has been in vogue since the time of Pratap Malla, continues to this day.
Although Gaijatra is celebrated in different cities of the country, the government has called for reducing the crowds this year to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Due to the corona, the festival has to be celebrated by maintaining a physical distance.
During the festival, which is celebrated till the day of Bhadra Krishna Ashtami, comedy, a satire on social evils, dance songs, and songs of Karuna Rasa of Ramayana are sung in memory of the deceased.
Humor against perversion in Gaijatra
Gaijatra was also banned after the royal coup d’etat on January 26, 2017, saying that it was a satire on the law.
Cultural expert Satya Mohan Joshi says that in 2033 BS, Nepal State Pragya-Pratishthan started celebrating Gaijatra again with Jhanki and satire as a festival.
He said that the satire would make the people aware and make sense of the meaninglessness. During the procession, the Satya Yuga paddy and rice samples displayed in Patan and the books written in gold and silver letters displayed in Thamel, Kathmandu are considered special.
Nowadays, on the occasion of Gaijatra, the existing distortions and anomalies in the society are exposed. Various programs are also organized in public in an entertaining and satirical manner.
Newspapers also publish satirical issues on social issues.
Gaijatra festival is celebrated in Kathmandu Valley, Banepa, Dhulikhel, Panauti, Barhavise, Trishuli, Dolakha, Khotang, Bhojpur, Chainpur, Ilam, Dharan, Biratnagar, Birgunj, Hetauda, Pokhara and other Newar communities.
A public holiday has been given in Kathmandu Valley today on the occasion of Gaijatra.