KATHMANDU: Gaijatra, the festival of cows, is being celebrated today to commemorate the death of people during the year.
Gaijatra was started in the medieval period of Nepal as per the endeavors taken by the then king Pratap Malla to relieve his queen’s trauma following the death of their son.
He asked his nationals to take cows to the streets who had lost members of their family in the past one year.
For Hindus, cow is revered as a holy animal which will help the deceased to reach into heaven.It is mythically understood that the deceased, during their journey to heaven, will cross a legendary river by holding the tail of a cow.
But these days, practices have changed a bit. Instead of cows, boys of the Newar communities are taken out to street with their face decked with colors.
The festival is celebrated in Kathmandu and other parts of the country including Banepa, Dhulikhel, Trisuli, Dolakha, Khotang, Bhojpur, Chainpur, Ilam, Dharan, Biratnagar, Birgunj, Hetauda and Pokhara.
Government has declared public holiday in Kathmandu Valley to mark the festival.
Fun, jollity, wit, satire, mockery, amusement are also part of this festival as people of all ages under different guises satirise human follies and other sociopolitical contemporary affairs through cartoons and burlesques.
Patently, Gaijatra is festival which facilitates people to accept the reality of death.