Kirants gather in big numbers to mark Ubhauli

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, May 8:

The Kirants celebrated Ubhauli, their national festival, at the Khulla Manch, Tundikhel, today. It was participated by members of four communities of the Kirant family. The festival is celebrated twice a year: in Mangsir as Ughauli, and in Baisakh as Ubhauli. The festival started on May 4 and today being the main day, the Kirants had gathered in large numbers to celebrate. The Sunuwar Welfare Society (SWS), Kirant Yayokkha (KY), Kirant Yakthun Chumlung (KYC) and Yakkha Chumma (YC) were the four communities that participated in the festival which started at 10 am and ended at 6 pm.

"During Ubhauli we worship nature on Baisakh Purnima asking her blessings for a good harvest," said president of SWS, Maan Bahadur Sunuwar. He said the festival was known as Syaa Dar Pidar in their language. "In the villages the festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm, with a total of 360 buffaloes and goats being scarificed, and people dancing all day long." A total 16 dances including Dumsi, Dhobini, Saro Dhobini, Chara dances were staged depicting nature and asking for adequate rainfall and good harvest. One of the dances included Dholay sil naach, which according to chief SWS priest, Uttam Sunuwar, enables the dhami or jhakri to know if anybody in the community is dying. The Kirant Yayokkha also celebrated Ubhauli known in their language as Chasuwa with 21 dances being performed to please nature. "The festival starts on Purnima and ends in Aausi," said Bidur Rai, member of KY. The programme started with a puja performed by Nakhchumma (priest).