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‘Cow Festival’ being held in Bhaktapur

Aug 30 2015 | 12:32 pm

BHAKTAPUR: The traditional festival of Gaijatra or the ‘cow festival’ that continues for a week in Bhaktapur district has started last night from Talejusthan after making Tahamacha and encircling the major part of Bhaktapur Durbar Square.

Boys dressed as holy cows are seen at the parade to mark the Gaijatra festival also known as "cow festival," in Kathmandu August 14, 2011. Hindus in Kathmandu celebrate the festival to ask for salvation and peace for their departed loved ones. Gaijatra is also known as "cow festival," as the cow is regarded as a holy animal that helps departed souls reach heaven. REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar (NEPAL - Tags: RELIGION SOCIETY IMAGES OF THE DAY)

Boys dressed as holy cows are seen at the parade to mark the Gaijatra festival also known as “cow festival,”. REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar

The Gaijatra has started from early morning today after the demise of 234 from Newar community in Bhaktapur. During this time-honored tradition, people of all ages in the guise of cows and lunatics go around the city, wearing odd costumes 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 Gaijatra observed in Bhaktapur is considered more special, entertaining and satiric compared to other cities.

Panipokhari

Kathmandu, Nepal

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