KATHMANDU:

The jatras are an integral part of the Kathmandu Valley’s cultural and religious life. The

jatras are popular especially in the Newar community. They believe that God from heaven descend down to earth to enjoy the Valley jatras.

Bisket jatra of Bhaktapur heralds the beginning of the new year. On new year’s eve, Bisket jatra takes place in Dakschin Barahi (Kwachhen) and Balkumari. On the first day of the year, it takes place at Siddhikali, Thimi. On the second day, 32 chariot-festival takes place at Balkumari and the temple is revolved by the participants.

In Bode, an extraordinary festival takes place at Bhangutole — tongue piercing festival, in which the dedicated may reserve a place in heaven.

Bisket jatra replays a drama passed on over the centuries. Images of wrathful and somewhat demonic deities are placed on chariots. They are offered blood sacrifices, flowers, and coins. Men brimming with youthful vigour and rice beer drag the chariots across brick-paved streets of the town, and wherever these raths stop, lamps are lit.

Good Friday is a holy day celebrated by Christians on the Friday before Easter. It commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus at Calvary. Special prayer services are often held on this day with readings from the Gospel accounts of the events leading up to the crucifixion. Mainstream Christian churches view Christ’s crucifixion as a voluntary and vicarious act, and one by which, along with his resurrection on the third day, death itself was conquered.

Catholic and Orthodox Christians treat this day as a fast day. Many Protestant communities hold special services on this day. In the German Lutheran tradition from the 16th to the 20th century, this was the most important holiday.

In Kathmandu, the Assumption Church, Ekantakuna will hold the The Way of the Cross at 2:00 pm, while the Good Friday service will start at 3:00 pm. The Koinonia Church will hold services at St Xavier’s ground from April 14-16 from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm, while Gyanewor Church will hold a Good Friday service from 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm.