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Ancient bull fighting held to observe Maghe Sankranti fest in Nepal

Jan 16 2019 | 12:44 pm

Dhading: Nepal on Tuesday hosted a bull fighting festival dating back to the 19th century to mark the Maghe Sankranti festival.

Coinciding with the annual winter celebrations as per the lunar calendar, bull fighting was organized in Nuwakot and Dhading, districts that adjoin the Kathmandu valley.

Hundreds of people gathered in Taruka village of Nuwakot district, some 75 km from the capital city, to witness the fun-filled bull fight.

The event was inaugurated by Nepali Minister for Youth and Sports Jagat Bahadur Bishwakarma, who said it is important to preserve such fiesta carrying rich history and culture.

The bull fighting is believed to have been started in Taruka village some 200 years ago for entertainment purpose.

Unlike in other parts of the world, Nepali bull fighting includes both bulls and oxen in the field from different owners. At least 22 pairs of bull competed this year in Taruka, where the bulls continuously fought for over an hour in the dusty playground.

According to locals, the competing bulls were selected on the basis of their physical fitness including length, height and age. The bulls used for tilling lands are set free on this particular day for the event.

When the bulls went wild and rowdy during the warm winter afternoon, people screamed and cheered for their favorites.

“This is my first time to witness bull fight, and I found it totally amazing,” Dipen Shrestha, a Nepali photojournalist who participated in the event, said.

As per the tradition, the fight ends once a bull is tired and gives up. The owners of the best bulls were awarded with cash prize and certificates.

The bull fight was organized in at least four other villages in Nuwakot district. People from various districts and foreign tourists thronged the venues to watch the rare activity.

The program also featured cultural shows by locals.

Panipokhari

Kathmandu, Nepal

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