Gai Jatra: Festival that honours the memory of those departed
KATHMANDU: Gai Jatra, literally translated to the festival of cows, is observed by bereaved families by taking out procession in memory of the ones they have lost.
People, especially children, walk in different costumes, and the processions are also accompanied by traditional bands. Gai Jatra is mainly observed in different areas of the three districts in the valley — Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur.
Gai Jatra derives its name from the Hindu religious belief that the deceased, during their journey to heaven, cross a river by grabbing the tail of a cow. The then King of the Malla dynasty, Pratap Malla, started the festival to console his queen — who lamented the death of their son — by revealing to her that there are many others suffering from the pain of losing a loved one.