Sunday, August 17, 2008

Gai Jatra -festival of cow .

Gai Jatra
(Gai= cow and Jatra = festival).The festival of cows is one of the most popular festivals celebrated in the Newar community. Traditionally the family who has lost a relative during the past year participates in this festival, with a belief that the bereaved relative then rests peacefully in the heaven.Mostly the people send a cow but if cow is unavailable they send their children dressed up as cow to walk in the procession .Thousands of whimsical characters of all sorts fill the streets on this day.
Gai Jatra is also famous as the festival of humor.Comic dramas and shows are performed. Even the newspapers bring out special editions making mockery out the government on this day.It is considered important as this festival enables people to realize and accept the Truth"death is the destination of life."
Nepal festivalEach family brings his own bamboo pole from their houses and gather together after sometime and memorize their lost relatives .

History :

King Pratap Malla in the 18th century lost his son which led the queen to depression.Despite his efforts, he could not make the queen smile .So he announced a reward to whoever succeeds to make the queen laugh.So on the day of Gai jatra the people started making mockery out of anything possible which brought a smile on the queen's face.And since then the king ensued Gai Jatra as a festival of humor too.

gai jatra festivalSuch chariots with the statue of the cows are the main tradition of this festival.

The celebration in Bhaktapur is the most interesting one.Tall decorated bamboo poles, wrapped in cloth are carried around the city in memory of the dead. Here are few pictures of Gai Jatra in Bhaktapur captured by my n95 mobile.

gai jatra
bhaktapurThese are the decorated bamboo poles on which the picture of the bereaved is hung and carried around the city in his/her memory.
cow festival
n95 picturesThe bamboo poles are carried around the cities by their relatives and other people participating with their traditional music and dancing and religious songs .

culture and festivalThen they move further around the city one after another .
Gai Jatra BhaktapurMen dressed in woman's outfit and performing their traditional dancing.
pratap malla
n95 mobile
Newari traditional woman dress
kids with traditional dance
nepali traditional danceMen, women and even children all sorts participate enthusiastically on the festival
kumari Even children are dressed traditionally and few children are also dressed up as cows

gai jatraEven tourist were enjoying their coffee along with the festival.

nepal festival
 nepal cultureThousand of people attended the festival with enthusiasm . All the streets were filled . The whole city looked very beautiful and colorful.


Liam said...

It's amazing to see such wonderful depictions of a cultural event like this. Without your pictures, those of us in my part of the world would scarcely know about such things.

Kath Lockett said...

Wow - as Liam said, this is great stuff and gives us a lovely picture (pun intended) of what wonderful celebrations you have.

....have YOU ever dressed up as a cow for this festival?? :)

Laurie said...

Very nice pictures, so enlightening and not being able to be there personally, you captured the moments for me.

Ann said...

Wow, what a festival! It's great to see so MANY people involved in such a festival!

Viva Photography said...

Looks fantastic and you have done a great job capturing the celebrations. Keep it up!

YogaforCynics said...

Beautiful and fascinating...the pictures and descriptions make me want to visit your part of the world very much.

Scott Lackey said...

Great stuff...keep it up. Love picture sites.
Can you take some quirky stuff to establish the locations. Stores, signs, etc.

Bikran said...

Liam , kath lockett , lauri ann viva photography, yogaforcynics and scott lackey ..
Thank you from the core of my heart for your lovely words.I am really glad that you all appreciated my little effort.
As u might already know Nepal is a land of festivals . here we celebrate lots of festivals every month.Some are celebrated nationally and some simply at home .Well i will try capturing more of such festive atmosphere .
thank you for visiting and commenting.
regards .

@ yogaforcynics : you are most welcome .If you get a chance do come here.You wont be disappointed for sure.

@scott lackey : i did not get what kind locations signs u want me to capture .I would try if u could clear me .