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Bisket Jatra Options
Posted: Thursday, April 13, 2017 12:00:00 AM
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Bisket Jatra

The festival of the new year in Nepal is celebrated with exchanges of greetings and in some areas with ritual bathing. The most important celebration is Bisket Jatra, which means the "festival after the death of the serpent." In Bhaktapur, the new year is celebrated by parading images of gods in chariots. The main attraction of the festival is the erection of a ceremonial pole—a lingam or phallic symbol. This is a peeled tree trunk as much as 80 feet in length that is erected using bamboo and heavy ropes while crowds watch. On New Year's Day, the pole is torn down. More...
Posted: Friday, April 14, 2017 10:29:08 AM

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Bhairab and Bhadrakali, the main protective deities of the Kathmandu Valley, are celebrated in their own way as shrines to each of them are built atop giant wooden chariots that celebrants heave and ho through the streets of town. As if the cheering crowds aren’t enough indication, cries of “Aasa! Oosa!” (“Push! Pull!”) forewarn the impending arrival of these wagons and the hordes who tug them along. Others, though exhibiting less sheer physical might, worship in a quieter but no less poignant way.

At the very center of it all, marking the moment of beginning of another new year, is the felling of the Yoshin Pole. Historic for its heroically slayed snakes, religious for its lingam-like construction, the 80ft pole is equally a focus of worship and wonder and wariness. On the first day of the new year, the strong ropes that keep the pole in place are untied and those same sounds – Aasa! Oosa! – are to be heard once more as the pole is pushed and pulled till it plunges to the square far below.
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