The great Pahachahrey, a significant festival of Newa culture | Hamro Patro

ब्लग - साहित्य / नेपाली चाडपर्व तथा महत्त्वपूर्ण दिनहरू

The great Pahachahrey, a significant festival of Newa culture

Newa civilization and culture reflects the ancient traditions and their scientific relevance, Pahachahrey is one among them. This is observed a day before GhodeJatra, Paha means guests and Chaharey means "Chaturdashi"  the fourteenth day of lunar tithis. This Chaturdashi is also called Pisach Chaturdashi, it has a great meaning and context related to the hiding Lord Shiva which is addressed by "LukuMahayah" in Newa word. This hiding Mahadev is considered as a predator form of Mahadev which resides in the dirt and consumes dumps. Pahachahrey is the day to bring the predator form of Mahadev in a clean place, worship and respect the transformed Mahadev.
Normally Gods are provided with a huge purity and unstained image, New culture is probably the only culture which has a rich history of assisting gods to transform themselves and redefine their own presence. Lord Mahadev is the god of all gods however the Pisach form of Mahadev depicts the pathless form of the god. Newar people pick up this form of Mahadev from the garbage and helps the god himself to transform and redefine himself.

The festival is linked with the legacy of Ajima culture, Aji means grandmother and Ma means mother. These Ajima deities gloriously represent all the female ancestors of Newar people who have been deitized under the influence of Shaktism philosophy of Hinduism and Vajrayana Buddhism. These deities or Newa pantheon are worshiped and remembered in this day. Except the Indrayani ajima, rest all ajimas are worshiped and carried out in a chariot on this day of Pahachahrey. Let me present you with a short story of Indrayani ajima also known as Luti ajima in this article.

Indrayani was poor so she was often neglected in festivals and functions by her sister. Once as she was attending the feast, her sister threw a plate of food towards her in a disgrace, this plate hit her child and the face of her children started to bleed. Upon this disgrace and disappointment, Indrayani abandons the feast and walks back home. On her way back she buys a pumpkin and surprisingly the magical pumpkin is filled with gold when she cuts it upon her arrival at home. With gold and wealth, she now is transformed into a wealthy woman. Next year when her sister invites her to the feast, she goes but now not miserable Indrayani is now very wealthy and happy. She receives a newer and unprecedented welcome, she now realizes that the welcome and acceptance is not for her but for the wealth she beholds. Disappointed Indrayani returns back, except Indrayani rest all Ajimas are worshiped today. Indrayani is worshiped on the day of Bala Chaturdashi.

Newa people wears traditional masks of different gods and performs a traditional dance. Today Newa people organize family feast and invite their daughters, their families and friends. Pahachahrey advocates for a lovely family environment, understanding, and compassion in society. This also delivers a message of sanitation and transformation, even Lord Mahadeva lost his path and later he was transformed. We all are provided with several chances to transform ourselves, improve our way and put our efforts in striding towards betterment. Life is wonderful and living in a New style is a bliss.
Utmost wishes on this day

Suyog Dhakal for Hamro Patro

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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.