Nepal | April 03, 2020

Newar Buddhists observing month-long Gunla festival

Himalayan News Service

Lalitpur, July 26

Buddhists from the Newar community in Kathmandu are celebrating the month-long Gunla festival.

Devotees mark the holy month by reciting scriptures, making early morning pilgrimages to Buddhist temples and playing Gunla music. It is believed that Lord Buddha got enlightenment during this month.

According to cultural expert Hari Ram Joshi, the festival is celebrated on the ninth month of the Nepal Sambat calendar. He said, “From the full moon day of the ninth month of Nepal Sambat, the festival is celebrated for a month.”

Different traditional musical instruments are played in different places of Kathmandu during the festival. The instruments are called Gunla in Newari.

Devotees form groups and go on pilgrimage. Joshi informed that these groups visit Changunarayan,  Bangalamukhi, Swoyambhunath, Bijeshwori, Shova, Bhagwati, Maruganesh, Janabahal, Suryabinayak and Dattatraya temples on Nag Panchami, Janai Purnima and Krishna Janmasthami.

On the last day, they visit Bungamati, Karyabinayak, Khokana, Jalbinayak, Chovar and Adityanath temples.


A version of this article appears in print on July 27, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.

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