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
Budhi Polne Parba being observed in Far West
DADHELDHURA — The Budhi Polne Parba — a religious festival– is being observed with fervor in various districts in the Far West of the country today.
The day falls on the first day of Nepali month of Ashwin, when, as the legend goes, Lord Krishna killed demon Budhi aka Rakshashni Putana. Her effigy is burnt today as a commemoration of victory of righteousness over evil and ill.
The cow herder friends of Lord Krishna burnt the corpse of Putana on this day, according to Priest Krishna Dutta Ojha.
Demon Putana used to kill the children by breastfeeding them her milk laced with poison. The effigy of Putana, on this day, is attached with the trunk of the tree, preferably the pine, and is burnt in the evening.
Also, on this day, the devotees eat cucumber and partake in a ritual bath called luto phalne (washing away the scabies and skin diseases).
The ashes of the effigy of Putana is then put on the domestic animals. In doing so, it is believed, that the livestock would never contract any diseases. Culture programmes as Deuda and Bhuwa also held at night.Follow @gorkhapost