Gai Jatra – Everything You May Want To Know About Gaijatra (Cow Festival) of Nepal – History, Videos, Comedy, Photos, Importance, Ideas etc

Why is gai Jatra celebrated?

Gai Jatra the festival of cow is celebrated in all newari regions of Nepal. The festival is slowly spreading it’s wings all over Nepal.

The festival is marked by the worshipping of the God Yamraj( the God of death) along with the cows which are considered as the holy animal in our Hindu Shastras. It is marked by the colorful procession of children wearing the masks of cows or different deities.

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The celebration is also marked by the comedic and satirical performances of musicians and comedians.

The deprived communities like the third sex and the LGBTIs also March their procession to show they are also the essential part of the society and they also need the recognition.

The festival has a long history dating back to 1641 A.D. This was the time of the reign of the king Pratap Malla of Malla Dynasty. He was the ninth king. At the time then Kathmandu was divided into Kantipur, lalitpur, bhaktapur and kirtipur.

Kantipur was ruled by the very artistic and literary king Pratap Malla. He had constructed numerous artistic sculptures specially of himself where he was portrayed as lord Krishna.

It is said that he had more than 300queens. He was a kind of lusty heartthrob king at the time. The sons of him were each given one or two years to rule the nation.

The second in line son was thrones and rules only for a day. He was killed by the trampling of the Royal elephant. The queen was heart broken. So to cheer her up the king then constructed Rani Pokhari with the temple of Lord Shiva in the middle.

The water was brought from the holy rivers all over Nepal and India. But the queen was still grieving. So the king ordered all his citizens to start the procession of the cows with decorations.

Since at the time people used to domesticate the cows. So they were at easy availability. Those families who had died in their homes within a year were supposed to bring their cows, decorate them and start the parade.

The king also ordered people to enjoy themselves in the evening after the completion of the parade. The source of entertainment at the time were not TVs or internet. But people dressed in funny looking ways. Mock those who are in a high position. Satire those whom they had the problem with.

Seeing all these processions and the humorous acts on the streets the queen finally laughed and forgot about her loss. She found the peace that she was looking towards.

Seeing the other mourning families she understood the rule of nature. One can’t control the life and death whether they be the king or the queen. She understood the fact and stopped grieving for her son.

Since then the festival named as Gai Jatra and is celebrated till today. Though it used to be celebrated amongst the Newars in kanthmandu only. It is now celebrated through the nation.

Author: Jitendra Sahayogee

I am Jitendra Sahayogee, a writer of 12 Nepali literature books, film director of Maithili film & Nepali short movies, photographer, founder of media house, designer of websites and editor of some blogs, has expert knowledge & experiences of Nepalese society, culture, tourist places, travels, business, literature, movies, festivals, celebrations.

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