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
Indra Jatra begins
KATHMANDU — Indra Jatra, known as the biggest festival of the Kathmandu Valley, formally began on Friday with the erection of a wooden ceremonial pole (lingo) and the fluttering of a flag named after the Hindu God Indra at Hanumandhoka.
Indra Jatra, one of the biggest festivals of the Newar community, is dedicated to the god of rain and king of heaven, Indra and celebrated for eight days.
The festival formally begins with the erection of a lingo (sacred wooden pole) at Hanumandhoka in Basantapur Darbar Square.
During the celebrations, Lakhe dances are performed on the streets of Kathmandu. The dance is one of the most popular dances of Nepal with performers wearing Lakhe costume and masks.
There are various mythical stories related to the festival. One such popular story is about Indra who came down to earth to get a special flower parijat and Karkalo (taro) for his mother, who was fasting and worshiping Goddess Basundharadevi.
Upon landing in the Kathmandu Valley, Indra is said to have intruded into a garden to pluck the special flower for his mother. But when the the garden owner found this out, he used Tantrik powers to capture Indra and tied him with ropes in public for humiliation.
Knowing her son is tied up, Indra’s mother came down to the earth and promised the garden owner that she’d provide rain for a better harvest in return for her son.Follow @gorkhapost