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Bisket Jatra Preparations Underway in Bhaktapur

The chariots will be decorated and painted by April 8th.
April 3, 2024
Bisket Jatra Bhaktapur
Photo: Rove.me

BHAKTAPUR, Nepal – The ancient city of Bhaktapur is abuzz with activity as preparations for the iconic Bisket Jatra festival reach their final stages. Scheduled to begin on April 9, the nine-day cultural celebration holds deep significance for the Newari people of Bhaktapur. Bisket Jatra, marking the Nepali New Year, is a vibrant display of tradition and belief. The festival’s origins remain shrouded in legend, but its celebration is believed to bring good fortune and ensure successful harvests.

The festivities kick off with the ceremonial chariot pulling of Bhairav, a revered deity in Bhaktapur. The highlight of the festival occurs several days later with the raising of the ‘lingo’ (a wooden pole) adorned with a colorful flag. This event symbolizes both the victory of good over evil and the start of the warmer season.

Construction of the grand chariots needed for the festival is progressing rapidly. Khima Wali, head of Guthi Sansthan Bhaktapur, states that the three-storied, pagoda-style chariot of Bhairav is taking shape in the Toumadhi temple premises. Simultaneously, the chariots of Bhairav and his consort, Bhadrakali, are being prepared with new wood, wheels, and axles.

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The chariots will be decorated and painted by April 8th. On April 9th, official and public worship ceremonies will mark the beginning of Bisket Jatra, followed by the chariot-pulling procession beginning at 3 pm.

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