Gaijatra in Bhaktapur

BHAKTAPUR: The traditional festival of Gaijatra or the 'cow festival' that continues for a week in Bhaktapur district started last night from Talejusthan after making Tahamacha and encircling the major part of Bhaktapur Durbar Square.

The Gaijatra has started from early morning today to commemorate the demise of 234 from Newar community in Bhaktapur. During this time-honored tradition, people of all ages in the guise of cows and lunatics go around the city, wearing odd costumes in memory of those who died during the past year.

The bereaved families offer fruits, bread, beaten rice, curd and money to those participating in the procession including the cows. It is believed that  the festival derives its name from the religious belief that the deceased, during their journey to heaven, crosses a legendary river by grabbing the tail of a cow.

The Gaijatra observed in Bhaktapur is considered more special, entertaining and satiric compared to other cities.