Devotees thronged historical and religious sites from early morning and offered prayers in Siraha despite the increasing risk of the second wave of COVID-19. A large number of people were seen at Shalesh Phulbari in the district.

The District Administration Office has banned all kinds of gatherings and events to prevent the possible spread of the virus.

However, devotees thronged the religious and tourists spots in the district on the occasion of the Nepali New Year flouting the DAO order. The administration has also urged people to wear face masks and stay indoors.

When asked why they did not heed government's request, most of the people at these sites replied that the government and its ministers, who were themselves busy organising mass rallies and gatherings, had lost the moral ground to impose any restriction in the name of COVID safety measures.

A local in Lahan Municipality, Nathulal Chaudhary, said that he reached there to observe the fair. He added that he did not get the chance to observe the fair last year due to the coronavirus.

The devotees offered puja in King Sahales and Birat's daughter Malikni's temple. People said that if they offered puja at the temple, their wishes would be fulfilled and they would be blessed with good health. Many thronged Shalesh Phulbari to see Sunakhari flower that blossoms on the New Year day. People from Siraha, Saptari, Dhanusha, Sunsari and Bihar of India reach the place in the search of medicinal herbs as well.

A version of this article appears in the print on April 15, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.