CDOs prohibit public celebration of Chhath


District Administration Offices in Kathmandu valley have prohibited public celebration of Chhath festival citing the risk of coronavirus infection.

Thousands of Hindu devotees, from the Tarai and hills alike, throng the water bodies in the valley to perform Chhath rituals every year. Ponds such as Rani Pokhari, Kamal Pokhari and Gahana Pokhari in Hadigaun and river banks in Gaurighat, Kalimati, Balkhu, Kupandole, and Bhaktapur inside valley used to be crowded with devotees in the past years offering prayers to the setting sun and wishing for happiness, well-being, good health and prosperity.

The greatest festival of the Mithila community, celebrated mostly in the Tarai region, is also observed inside the valley since around a decade. Moreover, people from the Tarai region living in the valley celebrate the festival with great fanfare.

This year, however, celebration for such people will have to be confined inside their houses.

All three chief district officers of Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Lalitpur districts have said they will not allow public gathering at any pond or river bank for celebration this year. Janak Raj Dahal, Kathmandu CDO said, “As the lockdown is not completely lifted, we have asked the security agencies to act accordingly.” He also said he hoped this festival would also be celebrated following social distancing norms and lockdown protocols as was the case during Dashain and Tihar.

Lalitpur CDO Narayan Prasad Bhatta and Bhaktapur CDO Hum Kala Pandey also said they would implement the Cabinet decision not allowing crowded activities due to the COVID-19 situation.