Last week was the week of Gai Jathra, a very special celebration in Nepal. The festival of “Gai Jatra”, the procession of cows, is generally celebrated in the Nepalese month of Bhadra (August-September). The festival of cows is one of the most popular festivals of Nepal.
According to tradition, every family who has lost one relative during the past year must participate in a procession through the streets leading a cow. If a cow is unavailable then a young boy dressed as a cow is considered a fair substitute. In Hinduism, a cow is regarded as the most venerated among all the domestic animals. It is believed that the cow, revered as a holy animal by Hindus, will help the deceased relative’s journey to heaven.
On Wednesday, a priest came to Ama Ghar to give everyone a blessing and new “golden threads” on their arms. Then on Thursday, as an outing, a group of the Ama Ghar kids went to Bhaktapur, the World Heritage site near Ama Ghar where a very popular Gai Jathra procession is held. The kids enjoyed the parade, ate ice cream and treats, danced and sang and generally enjoyed this beautiful tradition.