KATHMANDU: People coming out in the street wearing weird outfits and making sarcastic comments, some acting utterly crazy, small children either dressed up as jogi or cow to pay homage to the family members who passed away recently are common sights on the day of Gai Jatra. Celebrated a day after Janai purnima, Gai Jatra comes with mixed feelings. While some are busy remembering the departed soul and wishing for the heaven’s door to

open for them, others are busy utilising the freedom of speech and expression they receive on the day. This year too the Gai Jatra was celebrated with great enthusiasm on August 17.

Gai Jatra festival was introduced during the Malla Dynasty. In different parts of the Valley the festival is celebrated in different ways. In Kathmandu the celebration starts from Basantapur where the procession is taken around the town with participants geared up in traditional

jogi or cow outfit, some

even wear utterly bizarre outfit and make people laugh with their funny antics. Whereas in Bhaktapur the traditional Latthi nach (stick dance) is performed during the procession.

And since last couple of years a new trend has emerged with the member

of Blue Diamond Society (BDS) — working for gay rights — taking out their own procession. A huge crowd gathered to see the members of BDS with much curiosity — like every year.

All cross-dressed participants went around the town demanding for their Rights. The procession almost looked like a carnival watching many come out of their closet all decked

up in flashy and loud attire.

Exercising the rights of freedom of expression the participants did not fail to make all aware of their existence.