Kathmandu: Ghode Jatra (festival of horses) was celebrated amid a special function organised at the Nepali Army Pavilion today.

On the occasion, NA cavalry performed stunts, including trick ride, charger horse race, cycle race, show jump, lance-hit-pack, lance pick, horse handling, vaulting, rein free jump, musical ride, dog show, Hungaraian post, cross-country jump and fire jump, among others.

President Bidhya Devi Bhandari, who is the supreme commander of the NA, was the chief guest of the function. She gave away prizes to Captain Umesh Puri and Technical Captain Dilli Narayan Shrestha, who stood first and second in the musical ride. She also conferred award onMajor Bikram Dev Thapa and Huddha Shrawan Chaudhary, who secured first and second position in show jump.

Similarly, Chief of the Army Staff Rajendra Chhetri gave away prizes to NA personnel and officials, who clinched first and second in cycle race and other events.

Vice-president, prime minister, chief justice, speaker, deputy prime ministers, ministers, government secretaries, security officials, former NA chiefs, military attaches of various foreign embassies, senior security officials and general public enjoyed the festival.

According to Hindu legend, Ghode Jatra festival is held to celebrate the victory over a demon named Tundi. The demon used to live in the meadow today known as Tundikhel and terrorise the people of the Valley. After the demon died, people rejoiced its death by dancing on his body with horses.  There is a strong belief in Nepali society that the clamor of horses’ hooves on the day of Ghode Jatra at Tundikhel keeps the demon’s spirit at bay.