Gai Jathra Celebration!

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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.

Laxmi and Aruneema enjoying the Gai Jathra parade in Bhaktapur

Laxmi and Aruneema enjoying the Gai Jathra parade in Bhaktapur

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.

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