Bisket Jatra – A Celebration of Tradition and Community

Bisket Jatra, also known as Bisket festival, is an annual festival celebrated in the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal. It takes place from the 10th to the 18th of April, and is a vibrant and colorful celebration of tradition and community. The festival is a significant event for the Newari community, who are the indigenous people of the Kathmandu Valley. It is a time for them to come together, celebrate their culture, and pay homage to their deities.

The origins of Bisket Jatra can be traced back to the 14th century, when King Govinda Chandra of Bhaktapur started the tradition of pulling a chariot carrying the deity of Bhairab, the fearsome manifestation of Lord Shiva, through the streets.

The festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm and zeal, with people from all walks of life coming together to take part in the festivities.

One of the main highlights of Bisket Jatra is the chariot procession of Bhairab, known as the Bhairab Jatra.

The chariot is pulled by hundreds of devotees through the streets of Bhaktapur, with people cheering and dancing along the way.

The chariot procession is followed by a tug of war between the eastern and western parts of the town, symbolizing the eternal battle between good and evil.

Another important ritual of the festival is the raising of the Yosin pole, which is a long wooden pole decorated with colorful flags and cloth.

The pole symbolizes the connection between heaven and earth, and is raised amidst much fanfare and celebrations.

The festival also features traditional music and dance performances, with the sound of dhimay drums and the sight of masked dancers adding to the festive atmosphere.

During Bisket Jatra, people also visit temples and shrines to offer prayers and seek blessings from the gods.

The final day of the festival is marked by the ritualistic cutting of a metal rope, symbolizing the end of the old year and the beginning of the new one.

Bisket Jatra is not just a festival, but a way for the community to come together, reaffirm their shared traditions, and celebrate the rich cultural heritage of Nepal.

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