BHAKTAPUR — Bisket Jatra, one of the most popular festivals and only celebrated in Bhaktapur begins from today signaling that the Nepali New Year is in the horizon.
It is believed that the term Bisket Jatra is derived from Newari word Bi and Syaku which means snake laughter. One day before the festival, the people of Bhaktapur install a long pole with two plain white flags near Bhadrakali Pit and Chunpit Ghat. These two plain flags symbolize the commitment of two snakes.
The festival which is celebrated for nine days, will mark the new year by erecting a pole (linga) at Tamhari square on April 14.
This Bisket Jatra wil start by pulling the three-storey chariot made in Pagoda style with the Guthi Sansthan completed their worship in Bhairab temple near Paanchtale temple.
The locals of Thane (Upper town) and Kone (lower town) of Bhaktapur will participate in a ‘tug of war’, in which young people try to pull the three-storey chariot of lord Bhairab into their town.
Some fifty to hundred participants try to pull the chariot on to their side. The competition starts from every day and will run for at most four days, until one party becomes victorious by pulling the chariot into their town.
Bisket jatra is believed to have been celebrated since the Licchavi era.Follow @gorkhapost
Nag Panchami today
KATHMANDU — Hindus across the country are observing Nagh Panchami or Sukla Panchami festival on Thursday. The festival of Nag Panchami or the serpent deity festival is observed across the nation by pasting the pictures of Nag or the serpent deity above the main gate of the houses today.
Devotees from several areas would visit the Nagpokhari to worship the serpent deity. The pond, which is situated at Naxal, has been decorated for this day. The idol of the Nag is situated in the middle of this serpent pond.
There are many legends and folklore in Hindu mythology narrated to the importance of worship of snakes.
Nag Panchami is celebrated on the fifth day of the moonlit-fortnight in the month of Saun (between July and August). This is the time when serpents invariably come out of their holes that often get inundated with rainwater to seek shelter. As such they pose a danger to the man.
The festival that falls in the rainy season is believed to counter the increased possibility of snake bites during this time.
A big fare is being organised at Changunarayan Temple, which lies a top of small hill of Bhaktapur. The temple is visited by a large crowed of devotees during the day.Follow @gorkhapost