Bhaktapur, April 9
Bisket Jatra a festival of Bhaktapur denizens will begin Tuesday signaling that the Nepali calender New Year is in the horizon.
The festival which is celebrated for nine days, will mark the new year by erecting a pole (linga) at Tamhari square on April 14. The locals of Thane (Upper town) and Kone (lower town) of Bhaktapur will participate in a ‘tug of war’, in which young people try to pull the three-storey chariot of lord Bhairab into their town.
Fifty to 100 participants will try to pull the chariot on to their side. The competition starts from 2:00pm every day and will run for at most four days, until one party becomes victorious by pulling the chariot into their town.
Bisket jatra is believed to have been celebrated since the Licchavi era. The king’s priest from the time of Malla era ‘Rajopadhya’ clan representing kings and priests from ‘Karmacharya’ will formally start the festival by placing the sword khadga of lord Bhairab along with the idol of the god in the chariot.
A version of this article appears in print on April 10, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.