Prez Bhandari, PM Oli attend 'Basanta Shrawan' ritual

KATHMANDU: President Bidya Devi Bhandari attended the Basanta Shrawan ritual organised at Nasalchowk in Hanumandhoka Durbar Square today morning.

On the occasion of Shree Panchami festival, the President listened to 12 verses recited by priests at the auspicious hour of 9:05 am as recommended by the Nepal Panchanga Determination Committee. The President also received tika and prasad from priests.

On the occasion, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher Rana, Speaker of the House of Representatives Agni Sapkota, ministers, chiefs of constitutional bodies and security agencies, and high ranking government officials also listened to the verses and received tika and prasad.

President Bhandari was offered guard of honour by a contingent of the Nepal Army.

As per tradition, head of the state and of the government, along with high ranking government officials, attend the Basanta Shrawan ritual every year.

Shree Panchami is celebrated on the fifth day of the waxing moon in the month of Magh according to the Nepali calendar. The ritual has its origins in the Shreemad Bhagawat Mahapurana which mentions about a particular episode in the life of the Hindu deity Krishna, in which Radha and her friends sing hymns in praise of Lord Krishna, heralding the arrival of the spring season.

It is believed that from this day, the sun starts moving to the northern hemisphere, causing longer days and signalling the beginning of the spring season. Marriage ceremonies and other religious functions are also performed on this day as the day is believed to be auspicious. Legend has it that reciting and listening to verses about Goddess Saraswati on this day enriches knowledge.

The traditional Nepali Panche Baja ensemble played in the background as the listening of hymns was in progress. The band of Nepal Army also played auspicious melody on the occasion.