The entire Far-Western region, including Doti, has been celebrating the Balke festival since Tuesday morning.
In this state, the Bishu festival celebrated in the month of Baishakh is called Maraula, and the Balke festival celebrated in August is celebrated as Boche festival.
The first day of the festival, which is celebrated for two days in mid-August and starting week of September, was celebrated with local delicacies in every household. Harka Bahadur Bohara, a local of Dipayal Pipalla said.
He said, “Balke festival is very important in our state. Today, it is customary for everyone to give home-grown greens, vegetables, and cooked sweets in the belief that religion is earned by giving a fortune to those older than oneself.” Citizens who have gone out of their homes and districts for employment and work have now returned to their homes to celebrate Balke Festival.
Sanu Joshi, a local of KI Singh Gaonpalika-5, said that the Balke festival is celebrated in the village more than in the market area. She said, “The Balke festival is celebrated more in the village. This year, the Balke festival is more lively and lively in the village due to the reduced risk of corona risk in the village.”
Ghanshyam Pathak, a local and Congress leader of Dipayal Silgadhi Municipality-2, said that a special tradition of honoring one’s loved ones, friends, and neighbors by giving ‘gabha’ of Pindalu i.e. green leaves, greens, milk, yogurt, and exchanging blessings has existed in the area for centuries.
According to him, it is customary to invite the married daughter to her mother’s house on the day of Balke Chad and cook and eat local dishes like Puri, Bawar (Sale), Mana made from rice flour, Nisause, Gatani, Dubka, and other local dishes. In this way, it is customary for everyone to call their married daughter Maiti, believing that it is a virtue to feed one’s daughter Choli.
It is customary to pick the leaves of a sparrow species of plant a month ago and apply them on the palms of the hands and toes. According to Pandit Govinda Raj Joshi, a local of Mudhabhara in Shikhar Municipality, there is a belief that the body will not get the disease if it is dyed in this way.
According to him, there is a belief that working in the fields during the rainy season can prevent skin infections on the hands and feet. As the hands and feet are dyed to prevent the spread of the disease, this festival is also considered as a festival of ‘throwing lots’ from the body.
Not only this, the Doteli community has started expressing concern that the originality of many festivals like Balke of the original culture is being lost in the far west as the younger generation is not interested in the old festivals and culture.
Saying that many old arts, cultures, and festivals that have been celebrated in Nepali society for years are gradually disappearing as a result of the growing influence of culture in the West, Doteli artist Keshav Raj Fulara said that it is time for the stakeholders to wake up for the protection of such festivals.