Gaijatra: Acknowledgement of smiles in Nepali society. | Hamro Patro

ब्लग - साहित्य / नेपाली चाडपर्व तथा महत्त्वपूर्ण दिनहरू

Gaijatra: Acknowledgement of smiles in Nepali society.

We are very rich in Nepali culture and traditions, every one of our festivals and rituals are pieces of evidence before us, in various forms.

Our rituals are full of ownership, intimacy, and kinship, from animals to soil, from trees to leaves and from raw cotton rope to the sun we have worshiped and such rituals and ceremonies have been brought to you in detail by "Hamro Patro".

Probably the first essay written by many of us in student life was about cows. Not only the Vedic Sanatan rites but also the Indus Valley Civilization and in Bharat Barsa, the cow is worshiped as a symbol of special respect and faith in religious and cultural occasions in daily life. The Gaijatra festival is also an example of such cultural significance. This pilgrimage is very important especially for the family members who lost their loved ones in the last year as it is a special place of remembrance, affection, and closeness of the deceased.

In Nepal Bhasa, "Gaijatra" is called "Saparu". The streets are ablaze with cows, cow-disguises, and jhankis with various masks. In Gaijatra, various funny conversations, jokes, sarcasm, and even stand-up comedy are performed.

Considering the means of fun and laughter in the procession in memory of the deceased relatives, Gaijatra seems to call on the bereaved family of the deceased to move forward as a necessary process of life. Cow and Jatra i.e. this day is also the Jatra of cow revered in Hindu rites as mother and earth. According to legends written in the pages of history, the people of Kathmandu Valley worship Yama, the god of death, on this day. From BS 1641 to 1664, King Pratap Malla's queen was very much devastated by the death of her infant son.

Although the king tried to explain the fact that it was a moment that no one could control, the queen couldn't overcome the melancholy. Later, King came up with a plan which still continues as Gaijatra even after hundreds of years.

King Pratap Malla called upon the relatives of the citizens who had died in the state during the year in which he lost his minor son to take a procession from the front of the palace with cows.

On this day, the procession was displayed in the present Kathmandu Durbar Square and the new exhibition caught everyone's attention. Seeing many family members who lost their loved ones in her memory, the queen felt that she was not the only one to mourn the death. As the king encouraged the people to include various jokes, senses of humor, and acts in the procession, the queen largely laughed after seeing all these things.

On the other hand, the people who came in the procession started to symbolically explain the pomp of the rich people of the society and the suffering of the poor through various exhibitions and tableaus. That is to say, Gaijatra is also a festival of artistically exposing the negative aspects of the current social, cultural, and political activities in the society.

At that time, the people satirically presented to the king and queen the examples of oppression and injustice done by the society towards the poor and helpless. The practice of bang, which was started in Gaijatra, has been passed down from generation to generation and is still practiced today to target politicians, media persons, and other eminent persons of the society.

No one is allowed to hold a grudge against the bang made in Gaijatra. When the cow is taken out, the cow is brought forward and if there is no cow, the Kumar boy is brought forward like a cow. Gaijatra is celebrated across Nepal.

On the other hand, Gaijatra also indicates that the monsoon end and festivals are approaching. The setting sun, the bright days, the chilling wind, and the finished planting of the field. In this sense, Gaijatra is also an opportunity to laugh freely on a leisurely day. There will be performances and gatherings of national and local artists from all over the country including Kathmandu. Such Gaijatra special programs last for 10 to 15 days.

TV, radio, and newspapers have been gaijatra filled during this period. From the Gulf to the United States, Europe, and Japan, Gaijatra is celebrated in various forms and formats wherever Nepalis are.

May this year's Gaijatra bring laughter and happiness to the mountains, hills and the Terai. Let the perversion and corruption be exposed, let the transparency be praised. Smiles, smiles, and just smiles.

Suyog Dhakal

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Hamro Patro - Connecting Nepali Communities
Hamro Patro is one of the first Nepali app to include Nepali Patro, launched in 2010. We started with a Nepali Calendar mobile app to help Nepalese living abroad stay in touch with Nepalese festivals and important dates in Nepali calendar year. Later on, to cater to the people who couldn’t type in Nepali using fonts like Preeti, Ganesh and even Nepali Unicode, we built nepali mobile keyboard called Hamro Nepali keyboard.