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Bisket Jatra is a traditional festival celebrated in the Bhaktapur district of Nepal. The Festival falls in the Nepali month of Chaitra and Baisakh, usually in late March or early April. The festival lasts nine days and features a tall pole (called “lingo”) at Bhaktapur’s Bhairab Temple, symbolizing good’s triumph over evil.
The Festival also involves pulling a large chariot carrying the images of the gods Bhairab and Bhadrakali through the streets of Bhaktapur. This is accompanied by loud music, dancing, and sindoor (a red powder) thrown on the participants. Bisket Jatra is a major festival in Bhaktapur, drawing visitors from Nepal and other countries. It’s a time for celebrating, having fun, and participating in religious and cultural traditions.
History behind Bisket Jatra
Bisket Jatra has roots in ancient myths and legends. Local stories suggest the festival started in Nepal’s Lichhavi dynasty, from the 3rd to 7th century BC. One popular legend associated with Bisket Jatra tells the story of a demon named Gurumapa who lived in Bhaktapur and terrorized the locals. The king of Bhaktapur offered his daughter a sacrifice to appease the demon and prevent him from causing further harm. However, a young man named Bhairav, deeply in love with the princess, intervened and killed the demon. After saving the princess and the people of Bhaktapur, they put up a Bhairav statue in Bhaktapur, and the Bisket Jatra festival began to recognize his bravery.
A legend linked to Bisket Jatra speaks of two snakes aiding a human couple. To thank them, Bhaktapur’s people built a snake temple and started the Bisket Jatra festival.
Over time, Bisket Jatra has become an important cultural event in Nepal. The festival is passionately celebrated by Bhaktapur locals and nearby areas. The Festival performs as a reminder of the rich cultural heritage of Nepal and the importance of tradition and community in Nepali society.
More Info: Why do they celebrate Bisket Jatra?
Bisket Jatra, marking the start of the Nepali New Year, honors Bhaktapur’s deities and holds both religious and cultural value. Legend suggests it began to celebrate a Bhaktapur king’s triumph over a neighboring kingdom and later became tied to the worship of gods Bhairab and Bhadrakali. During the festival, Bhaktapur’s people do rituals for blessings, health, and safety. The event is a cherished part of their culture.
Socio-Cultural Significance of the Festival
Bisket Jatra is an important festival in the Bhaktapur district of Nepal and holds great significance for the region’s people. Here are some of the reasons why:
- Religious significance: Bisket Jatra is a festival in Bhaktapur to honor their deities. It’s thought to bring luck and blessings to its people.
- Cultural significance: The Festival has been celebrated for centuries and is integral to the region’s cultural heritage. Bisket Jatra allows the people of Bhaktapur to celebrate their unique cultural identity and traditions.
- Social significance: Bisket Jatra brings people together from different parts of Bhaktapur and beyond. The Festival allows people to interact with each other, strengthen social bonds and build community spirit.
- Tourism: Bisket Jatra is a major tourist attraction in Nepal and attracts visitors from around the world. The Festival provides an opportunity for visitors to experience the rich culture and traditions of Bhaktapur.
- Economic significance: The Festival generates economic activity in the region, as many vendors and businesses set up shop during the Festival. This helps to support the local economy and create employment opportunities.
Overall, Bisket Jatra is an important festival celebrating Bhaktapur’s religious, cultural, social, and economic aspects. The Festival is an expression of the rich cultural heritage of Nepal and is a symbol of unity and community spirit.
How to join the Festival?
If you are interested in joining the celebrations of Bisket Jatra in Bhaktapur, Nepal, there are a few things you can do:
- Plan: Bisket Jatra takes place in the Nepali month of Chaitra and Baishakh, usually in late March or early April. If you plan to attend the Festival, check the exact dates and plan your trip accordingly.
- Arrive early: The Festival can be quite crowded, so arriving early is best to secure a good spot to watch the processions and other activities.
- Dress appropriately: The Festival is a traditional event, and it’s best to dress modestly and respectfully. You can wear traditional Nepali clothing or comfortable clothing suitable for the weather.
- Respect the traditions: Bisket Jatra is a religious festival, and it’s important to respect the traditions and customs associated with the event. This includes refraining from smoking or drinking alcohol in public and not interrupting or interfering with rituals or ceremonies.
- Participate respectfully: If you are invited to participate in any Festival’s activities or rituals, do so respectfully and with an open mind. Be courteous and follow any instructions given by the organizers.
Bisket Jatra is a lively and colourful festival that celebrates the rich cultural heritage of Nepal. Following these tips, you can join the celebrations and experience this important event’s unique traditions and customs.