Bisket Jatra – Nepali New Year

Ajay Singh Noida “The Bisket Jatra festival is a little similar to the Rath Yatra of India. Statues of Lord Bhairavnath and Goddess Bhadrakali were taken out on chariots, traditional dance – dramas performed, creating an atmosphere full of celebratory passion. It doesn’t matter where you are in the world or where you are from, festivals magically unite people”.

Celebrated since the time of the glorious Lichchavi dynasty, the Bisket Jatra festival ushers in the Nava Barsha (New Year) in Nepal the Newari way. Held in the ancient city of Bhaktapur in April, the festival marks the ancient solar Nava Barsha and is the only festival that does not follow the lunar-based Nepali calendar. The Bisket Jatra begins four days before the onset of the Nepali New Year and is celebrated for five more days afterwards. Bisket means 'Snake is killed'.

On the first day, the Jatra commences early morning, after a special Tantric ritual in the Bhairav temple in Bhaktapur – a priest offers prayers to the Bhairavnath deity – following which the deity is worshipped in the streets of the city.  In the afternoon, idols of Bhairav and Bhadrakali (fierce manifestations of the Hindu god Shiva and...

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