Bisket Jatra Festivals in Nepal
Bisket Jatra is a unique and colorful festival that takes place in Bhaktapur, Nepal. This festival has been celebrated for over 1,000 years, and it is a major event in the Nepalese calendar. The festival is a celebration of the New Year and is held in the month of April, during the Nepali New Year.
Bhaktapur is one of the three major cities in the Kathmandu Valley, and it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city is famous for its traditional Newari architecture and its rich cultural heritage. Bisket Jatra is one of the most important festivals in Bhaktapur, and it attracts thousands of visitors from all over Nepal and beyond.
The festival lasts for nine days and is divided into two parts. The first four days are dedicated to the celebration of the New Year, and the remaining five days are dedicated to the Bisket Jatra itself.
Trips - Bisket Jatra Festivals in Nepal
The New Year celebrations begin on the first day of the festival, which is known as Ghode Jatra. Ghode Jatra is a day when horses are paraded through the city to ward off evil spirits and bring good luck for the coming year. The parade is led by the Royal Cavalry of Nepal, and it is followed by a series of traditional dances and performances.
The second day of the New Year celebrations is known as Sindoor Jatra. On this day, people smear each other with vermillion powder as a symbol of good luck and happiness. This is a fun and festive day, and people roam the streets in groups, throwing colors at each other and singing traditional songs.
The third day of the New Year celebrations is called Gathamuga. On this day, people visit their relatives and friends to exchange greetings and gifts. This is a day of family reunions, and people prepare traditional feasts to share with their loved ones.
The fourth day of the New Year celebrations is known as Nava Barsha. This is the first day of the Nepali New Year, and it is a day of prayer and reflection. People visit temples and shrines to offer prayers and make offerings to the gods.
After the New Year celebrations, the Bisket Jatra itself begins. The festival is named after a large wooden pole called the “lingo,” which is erected in the city square. The lingo is decorated with colorful flags and is believed to represent the male and female principles of the universe.
The festival begins with a ceremony in which the lingo is hoisted into position. This is a highly symbolic event, and it is believed to bring good luck and prosperity to the city. The hoisting of the lingo is accompanied by the firing of cannons and the playing of traditional music.
Once the lingo is in place, the festival truly begins. The city is divided into two parts, and each part has its own chariot. The chariots are decorated with colorful cloth and are pulled through the streets by groups of men.
The chariots are believed to represent the gods Bhairab and Bhadrakali, who are the protectors of the city. The two chariots are pulled in opposite directions, and the people on each side try to pull the other side’s chariot across a designated finish line.
The chariot pulling is a highly competitive event, and it often leads to heated arguments and even fights. However, it is all done in good fun, and no one is seriously hurt.
In addition to the chariot pulling, there are a number of other events that take place during the festival. These include traditional dances, music performances, and processions through the city streets. There are also a number of food and craft stalls, where visitors can sample traditional Nepali cuisine and buy local handicrafts.
Bisket Jatra Important in Nepal
Bisket Jatra is a festival that holds a significant place in the culture and tradition of Nepal. This festival represents several important values that are integral to the Nepalese way of life. Here are some of the key values that Bisket Jatra represents:
- Unity and Community:
Bisket Jatra is a festival that brings people together. It is an occasion where families, friends, and strangers come together to celebrate the New Year and participate in the festivities. The festival is an opportunity for people to forget their differences and come together as a community. It fosters a sense of unity and encourages people to work together towards a common goal.
- Respect for Tradition:
Bisket Jatra is a festival that has been celebrated for over a thousand years. It is a celebration of tradition and culture that has been passed down from generation to generation. The festival serves as a reminder of the rich cultural heritage of Nepal and the importance of preserving it for future generations.
- Courage and Determination:
The chariot pulling event of Bisket Jatra requires a great deal of courage and determination. Participants must work together and use all their strength to pull the chariot across the finish line. This event represents the values of teamwork, perseverance, and determination. It encourages people to work together and overcome obstacles to achieve a common goal.
Bisket Jatra is also a festival that has a strong spiritual significance. The hoisting of the lingo is a symbolic event that represents the male and female principles of the universe. The festival also involves visiting temples and offering prayers to the gods. This spiritual aspect of the festival serves as a reminder of the importance of faith and spirituality in Nepalese culture.
- Celebration of Diversity:
Nepal is a diverse country with many different ethnic and cultural groups. Bisket Jatra is a festival that celebrates this diversity. People from all over Nepal come to Bhaktapur to participate in the festival and showcase their unique cultural traditions. The festival is an opportunity to celebrate and appreciate the differences that make Nepal such a rich and diverse country.
In conclusion, Bisket Jatra is more than just a festival. It represents a set of values and principles that are integral to Nepalese culture and tradition. These values include unity, respect for tradition, courage and determination, spirituality, and celebration of diversity. Bisket Jatra serves as a reminder of the importance of these values and encourages people to embody them in their daily lives.
Why Travelers Love Bisket Jatra Festivals
Bisket Jatra is a festival that attracts travelers from all over the world. There are several reasons why travelers love this festival. Here are some of them:
- Cultural Experience:
Bisket Jatra is a unique cultural experience that provides travelers with an opportunity to immerse themselves in Nepalese culture. The festival is a celebration of tradition and heritage that has been passed down for generations. Travelers can witness the rituals, customs, and practices that are unique to Nepal.
- Festive Atmosphere:
Bisket Jatra is a festival that creates a festive atmosphere in the city of Bhaktapur. The streets are decorated with colorful flags and lights, and people are dressed in their traditional attire. The sound of music and the aroma of food fills the air. Travelers can experience the energy and excitement of the festival and become a part of the celebration.
- Chariot Pulling Event:
The chariot-pulling event is one of the main attractions of Bisket Jatra. It is an event that requires teamwork, determination, and strength. Travelers can witness the spectacle of people pulling chariot through the narrow streets of Bhaktapur. It is an experience that is both thrilling and awe-inspiring.
- Local Food and Drinks:
Bisket Jatra is also an opportunity for travelers to try the local cuisine of Nepal. The festival is known for its delicious food and drinks, including local sweets, meat dishes, and alcoholic beverages. Travelers can sample the flavors of Nepal and indulge in the culinary delights of the festival.
- Meeting Locals:
Bisket Jatra is a festival that brings people together. Travelers can meet locals and interact with them, learning about their customs and traditions. It is an opportunity to make new friends and create lasting memories.
In conclusion, Bisket Jatra is a festival that travelers love because of the cultural experience, festive atmosphere, chariot-pulling event, local food and drinks, and the opportunity to meet locals. It is a unique and unforgettable experience that provides travelers with an opportunity to immerse themselves in Nepalese culture and create lasting memories.