Bhoto Jatra/Sithi Nakha | Hamro Patro

ब्लग - साहित्य / चाडपर्व तथा दिन विशेष सामग्रीहरू

Bhoto Jatra/Sithi Nakha

The sky-touching chariot is constructed in Sikhar pattern (Mountain like pattern), the wooden edifice is about 15 to 20 meters in height and 4.5 meters in diameter. From the construction of the Chariot to the Bhoto Jatra, this longest Jatra has a process of 2 months and today is the main day.

Story of Bhoto Jatra
Bhoto Jatra relates the incident of finding a real owner of a divine vest 9Bhoto) which was gifted to a farmer by a serpent king. People of eight localities in Patan—Natol, Gabahal, Mekhabahal, Kusunti, Kayanni, Walmaya, Dhaugol, and Sachhi Chhe—usually lead the Machhindranath chariot procession. This chariot brings an ancient relevance, it is believed that ancient Lichivi King Narendra Deb brought the idol of Rato Matsandrnath from Assam India to rid his kingdom of the drought. This chariot procession also marks the beginning monsoon in Nepal, clouds have arrived with water and hope within.

 Avalokitswora has an eye upon us and his grace is pervasive. Utmost wishes of the chariot procession.

Sithi Nakha

Sithi Nakha Nepal Samvat 1143: ancient and scientific festival.

According to the Newa civilization and rites, the Sithi Nakha festival is celebrated every year on the day of Jeshtha Shukla Sashti.

Just as Kathmandu is popular as a city of temples, so is Kathmandu a city of pottery and ponds, wells, stone fountains, and boreholes. Considering the cleanliness and orderliness of these things which are very important for water resources, it has become a custom to celebrate Sithi Nakh. Today, the importance of Sithi Nakha to Kathmandu and Kathmandu residents has increased even more.

Highlights of Sithi Nakha
This festival also highlights the importance of water source conservation and the need for clean water. Today, it is customary to worship around wells, boreholes, and ponds and to clean up before worship. In this way, after everyone has gathered and worshiped, the far-reaching ritual of being religiously and culturally compelled not to litter there throughout the year is commendable.

It is believed that the water resource should be closed for a few days after cleaning in Sithi Nakha to stabilize the water level. When water is cleaned, it is cleaned by entering inside the dug wells, ponds, and boreholes, and by doing so, the underneath wastes like mud, silt, and sediment come up to the surface of the water. After cleaning the spring in this way, milk, ghee, honey, curd, and other things are added there. There is a fact that the water source in the Kathmandu valley is not as clean and full as before, resources have degraded because of rapid urbanization and mismanaged constructions/ habitat.

No matter how much rain falls, there is a cement floor around it, so the water source will not be able to absorb the rain. Due to this, most of the water sources are drying up and the people of the valley have to depend on pipes, tankers, and jars for water.

Activities on Sithi Nakha
On the day of Sithi Nakha, after the collective cleaning of the water source, it is customary to go to each other's home to greet and the welcome is delivered also through offering traditional Newa food such as Bara, Chatamari, Choyala, etc. On the same day, Chandi Devi is worshiped at Chaskhel in Bhaktapur and Kumar Kartikeya (Son of Lord Shiva and Parwati) is worshipped at Jaisidebal Kathmandu. Kumar Kartikeya is referred to by the community as a picture of eight lotus flowers placed at the entrance of his house or an artistic expression carved in metal, the entrance of a traditional Newa home is decorated by such artistic metal lotus.

Want to talk a little bit about Kumar Kartikeya, this son of Shivaji is described in the Puranas as a colonel in a supernatural army, referred to as Mahasenani. This strong man, Kumar, who can kill demons like Tarakasur is also described as the son of Ganga. It is said in the Puranas that he had six heads and was on the banks of the Ganges at the time of his birth. The river Ganga itself flows through Shivaji's Jata, so the form of Ganga has a lot to do with the water and its purity.

A unique blend of environment, milieu, and lifestyle, this festival has been teaching us the lesson of water and spring sanitation for centuries. Public awareness programs are being run in the Nepali community through foreign projects, from hand washing to drinking clean water. If we look closely, our ancient traditions are scientific and transformative in themselves. Good luck to Sithi Nakh: May our water source and mind be both pure and clean.

Suyog Dhakal

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