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Bisket Jatra begins in Bhaktapur

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BHAKTAPUR – The historic  Bisket Jatra began in Bhaktapur today, flagging that the New Year according to the Nepali calendar is on the horizon.

The annual festival with a tantric significance is believed to have begun in the Lichhavi era.

Priest Ganesh Karmacharya offered prayers to Bhairavnath deity following which the deity was worshipped in all streets of the ancient city until 8 am today. The Bhairavnath and Bhadrakali deities will be placed in their respective chariots in the afternoon following different phases of worship and offerings, after which the chariots will be towed by devotees.

The Bisket Jatra which starts four days before the Nepali New Year lasts for five more days afterwards. It is hence celebrated for eight nights by the locals of Bhaktapur.

The first day will see the chariot of Bhairavnath being pulled by devotees which continues in the coming days.

The police administration has tightened the security for the festival.

A total of 2,000 security personnel from Nepal Police and Armed Police Force (APF) including those in plain clothes will beef up the security, according to Superintendent of Police, Kiran Bajracharya.

The intersections within the city have been fitted with CCTVs to watch anyone involving in untoward activities.

The chariot’s pathway has been punctuated by old houses standing with the support of poles following damages in the massive earthquake of April 25, 2015 – due to which the chariot pulling route has been shortened.

Guthi Sansthan Bhaktapur Chief, Leknath Sapkota, said a total of Rs 2.6 million would be spent for the festival.

The famous lingo (wooden pole) with the God Indra’s flag fluttering at the top end will be erected on April 12 and felled next day.

It is believed that witnessing the Jatra, which is also called Satruhanta Jatra, will rid one of enemies.

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Sleeping in on weekends may help live longer

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Sleep deprivation has been found to have numerous negative effects on a person’s health. But the new study has shown that sleeping more on the weekend might help ease health problems associated with not getting enough during the week, and even reduce the risk of an early death.

The study, published in Journal of Sleep Research by scientists from Sweden and the United States, suggested that the negative effects of a few nights of short sleep could be counteracted by staying in bed over the weekend.

The from the Stress Research Institute (SRI) at Stockholm University and the Karolinska Institute discovered that people below 65 years old who slept less than five hours on weekends had a higher risk of early death after examining medical and lifestyle data from more than 43,000 adults, following them for a period of 13 years.

For people who slept for less than five hours throughout the week but slept longer on the weekends for about nine hours, there was no increase in mortality risk. But, for people who consistently slept for less than five hours through the whole week, the mortality risk is higher.

Torbjorn Akerstedt, one of the authors of the research and a clinical neuroscience professor from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, said that the findings were consistent with previous studies on the link between sleep duration and mortality.

However, those previous studies only focused on sleep during weekdays.

“The results imply that short sleep is not a risk factor for mortality if it is combined with a medium or long weekend sleep,” the researchers wrote in the study.

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