The traditional cultural festival ‘Gai Jatra, which is celebrated for eight days every year from Bhadra Krishna Pratipada to Ashtami, is being launched across the country today by organizing various programs.
In the memory of the relatives who have passed away within a year, today a cow or a person is decorated in the form of a cow and circulated in their respective areas and they are given milk, fruits, bread, chewing gum, curd as well as grains and substances by the devotees.
There is a religious belief that people who die during the year cross the Vaitarani by holding the tail of a cow.
It is a historical fact that the festival was started on the basis of King Pratap Malla’s order to show the world that his queen, who was overwhelmed by mourning for her son, should suffer the same fate.
As the queen’s mind could not be calmed by this, it is rumored that satire has been practiced as per the order to hold various comedy and satire programs.
Gaijatra, which has been in vogue since the time of Pratap Malla, has to go through the palace at Hanuman Dhoka.
Although Gaijatra is celebrated in different cities of the country, its special vibrancy is seen in the valley.
Due to the corona, there is a need to celebrate the festival by maintaining a physical distance.
During the festival, which is celebrated till the day of Bhadra Krishna Ashtami, comedy, a satire on social evils, dance songs, and songs of Ramayana’s Karuna Rasa are sung in memory of the deceased.
Gai jatra is a satire against perversion
Gaijatra was also banned after the royal coup on 15 December 1960 AD, saying that it satirized the Panchayat system.
Cultural expert Satya Mohan Joshi says that in 2033 BS (1976 AD), Nepal State Wisdom Foundation started celebrating Gai Jatra again with jhanki and comedy satire as a festival.
He said that comedy and satire would make people aware and make sense of meaninglessness.
During the pilgrimage, the Satya Yuga paddy and rice samples displayed in Patan and the books written in gold and silver letters displayed in Thamel, Kathmandu are considered special.
Nowadays, on the occasion of Gai Jatra, the existing distortions and anomalies in society are exposed. Various programs are also organized in public in an entertaining and satirical manner.
Newspapers also publish satirical issues on social issues.
Gai Jatra festival is celebrated in Kathmandu Valley, Banepa, Dhulikhel, Panauti, Barhavise, Trishuli, Dolakha, Khotang, Bhojpur, Chainpur, Ilam, Dharan, Biratnagar, Birgunj, Hetauda, and Pokhara.
For the first time this year, the government has given a public holiday to the Newar community across the country on the occasion of Gaijatra.
A public holiday has been given in Kathmandu Valley today on the occasion of Gai jatra.