Kathmandu, Aug. 30: The cultural and traditional festival of Gaijatra or the ‘cow festival’ that continues for a week in the capital has started from Hanumandhoka this morning. People are thronging in and around different parts of the Kathmandu valley to mark the festival.
The Gaijatra started early morning in Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur and some other parts across the country. During this time-honored tradition, people of all ages in the guise of cows and lunatics go around the city, wearing strange costumes with peculiar appearance to commemorate 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. As the saying goes, 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 festival was begun by the then Malla king Pratap Malla. The festival was started to show the pain of demise of one nearest and dearest when wife of King Pratap Malla lamented over the death of her son. King wanted to show such pain of others to his wife then he made the arrangements of showing such grief fair to share the pain.
On the occasion, different fun and satire related programmes are organized in various places.