Bisket Jatra

The Nepalese follow their own calendar system known as the Bikram Era or Bikram Sambat, which is accredited to King Bikramaditya. He started the solar calender some two thousand years ago. This festival is celebrated in the last week of the year and lasts till the second week of the of the first month of the New Year.So it is generally celebrated as the NEW YEAR in Bhaktapur.On this day, devotees take a dip in the holy Bagmati River at Pashupatinath temple. Pilgrims also visit other religious spots. In Bhaktapur, which is 15 Kilometers east of Kathmandu, the New Year celebrations takes place with an added importance as the ” Bisket Jatra or Festival of Bisket”. During Bisket Jatra a tall wooden ceremonial poll called ‘yosin’ is erected in one of the main squares. This festival commemorates the great battle of Mahabharata and the wooden pole symbolizes victory. After two days, images of the god Bhairab and his female counterpart Bhadrakali are enshrined in two large greatly decorated chariots and pulled through crowds of cheering on-lookers. When the chariot reaches the city center, a tug-of-war between the inhabitants of the two neighborhoods takes place. The winners of a tug-of-war are considered blessed with good fortune for the coming year. This festival goes on for nine days. New Year is celebrated with added aroma in Sankhu, some 20 km east of Kathmandu. Both Hindus and Buddhist worship the Bajra Jogini godess. During New Year, the deity’s image is put on palanquin and carried around the town with a huge colorful procession.

   While at the same time in Bhaktapur at Thimi the festival is celebrated in different form. ‘Sindoor Jatra’ (Vermilion Powder Festival) .In Thimi, the local crowd celebrate it by carrying the palanquins of Hindu deities across the town square. People smear and throw vermilion , as they carry the palanquin of the deities. Yomaris(Newari rice cake prepared especially during New Year) are thrown from homes towards the Balkumari temple, while the boisterous crowd tries to catch it.According to a local belief, a son will be born to anyone who catches a yomariA day before a new year, firing of forest wood takes place which is known as Gunsin Chhoyekegu”.“A traditional wooden pole with flags used to be erected in front of Balkumari Temple of Thimi but this is no more in practice now. On this day chariot festival takes palace in Vishnuvir. During that same night, chariots of deities are carried with Dhimay Baja (Indigenious Music) & flaming torches to Kwachhen (Dakshin Barahi) from Layaku and the Chariots are revolved there. On the New Year day (1st Baisakh), devotees from around the town gather at Balkumari,one of Bhairab’s consorts and worship all throughout the day. In the evening hundreds of ceremonial oil lamps are lit. Some devotees light oil lamps even on their legs, chests, foreheads, arms & lie in motionless positions for hours. The second of Baishakh and the third day of the Bisket Jatra is an important day when surrounding villages bring Khats(Chariot) with images of different gods to Balkumari early in the morning. Thirty two chariots of deities are gathered and revolved round Balkumari temple by the festival participants. People carry flaming torches or play drums/cymbals. Vermilion powder is spread around each others body with joy. In no time the whole locality turns into colourful orange. The environment becomes unbelievably too festive by the time. The festival reaches its climax when the Khat of Ganesh from Nagadesh arrives. While people try to return the Khat, all other Khats try to block its way. By hook or by crook they finally succeed to return. The festival gets prolonged until they succeed. Afterwards the procession moves toward Taleju Temple. Numbers of animal sacrifices are made here. The event and the surrounding are crowded by the devotees again.On the same day, in a small village of Bode another Khat festival take place-here seven Khats are revolved around. Following this event – an exciting tongue piercing festival takes place at Bhangu Tole of Bode. A volunteer from the Shrestha family gets his tongue pierced in a spiritual trance with an iron spike and walks around the town shouldering a round bamboo rack with flaming torches. It is believed that the successful completion of this painful rite bring good fortune to the villagers & the volunteer himself. On the forth day of Bisket Jatra Chariots of Chapancho and Chhoday are also brought and taken

Sindoor Jatra @ Madhyapur Thimi– Nepali New Year 2069 BS

When  (AD)
Bishnu Bir Jatra
Siddhi Ganesh Jatra
12th April
Madhyapur Thimi,
Ward No. 14
4.00 PM
11.00 PM
Bal Kumari Jatra
Dakshin Barahi Jatra
Bishnu Bir Jatra
13th April
Bal Kumari
Bal Kumari
Bal Kumari
2.00 PM
32 Chariot festival
Tongue Penetration Festival
Siddhi Ganesh Jatra
14th April
Bal Kumari
7.00 AM
12 Noon
7.00 AM

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