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Bisket Jatra begins from today

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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.

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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.

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President extends good wishes on occasion of Maghe Sankranti

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KATHMANDU— President Bidya Devi Bhandari has extended happiness, peace and prosperity to all Nepali sisters and brother at home and abroad on the occasion of the Maghi or Maghe Sankranti.

In a message issued from the Secretariat of the President, President Bhandari has expressed her confidence that this festival would strengthen social unity by promoting mutual understanding among different castes and communities of our society.

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Our festivals have contributed a lot to maintain our Nepali identity by linking geographic, cultural, ethnic and lingual diversities and such festivals have played vital role to make our country known in the global stage, President Bhandari has said in the message.

In a similar message, Vice-president Nanda Bahadur Pun has said that such festival enhance mutual harmony, tolerance, fraternity and unity among the Nepalis and contribute to conservation and promotion of our indigenous culture.

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