Bhadra Shukla Chaturthi: The day of the Elephant-God

August 29, 2014

Goddess Parvati, the better half of Lord Shiva, was yearning for a child. One day, while she was taking a bath with turmeric and water, she started rubbing the turmeric off her body. Then she molded the residue thus derived into a human structure. With her powers, she breathed life into the image. Within seconds, a little boy magically appeared before her. She called him her son and commanded him to guard the main gate of her palace. Lord Shiva, who was not home at the moment, returned in the evening. The little boy stopped him from entering his own house. Shiva was so angry with the boy’s audacity that he cut off his head and entered the palace.

When Parvati came to know about this, she told her husband that he was her son and pleaded him to bring him back to life. Lord Shiva, softened by his wife’s tears, asked his messengers to bring him a head of any creature to be attached to the dead boy’s body. They searched far and wide and stumbled across an old elephant with a single tooth. They cut off its head and presented it to their lord. Shiva then brought the boy back to life with his powers.

This day, also known as Bhadra Shukla Chaturthi (the fourth day of the waxing moon period), is regarded as the birthday of the little boy brought back from the dead, who went on to be worshipped as Lord Ganesha. Read more

Lhasa’s Drepung Monastery comes alive for Shoton festival

August 29, 2014

LHASA, Aug 28: The usually quiet city came to life with hundreds of people, if not thousands, thronging the Drepung Monastery in Lhasa, capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR). They came as early as five in the morning for the Shoton festival that started this year, according to the Tibetan calendar, on August 25.

“This is a regional Tibetan festival and it´s celebrated in different parts of Tibet,” says Zou Yuheng, a staffer at the TAR Information Office, explaining that Drepung Monastery in Lhasa, which is the largest monastery in the world, is the main venue for the festival.

Built in 1416, Drepung Monastery is situated at the foot of Gambo Utse mountain. The monastery looks from afar like a heap of rice, and hence its name. Dre in Tibetan means rice and pung signifies collecting. To reach the monastery on the first day of the five-day festival, people have to walk for two to three hours as all motorable roads leading to it are closed off. What makes the journey even more strenous is the fact that almost half the going is up a steep hill. Some people opt to head for the monastery surroundings on the eve of the festival and pitch tents for the night. Read more

TEEJ FESTIVAL: PADT expects over three lakh devotees

August 27, 2014

KATHMANDU: Security in and around Pashupatinath Temple has been stepped up for the Teej festival, to be observed on Thursday, when around 300,000 women devotee are expected to visit the hallowed Hindu shrine to offer puja.

The Pashupati Area Development Trust has formed a main organising committee led by its Treasurer Taranath Subedi for the festival.

According to PADT, there will be three entry points — Bankali-Char Shivalaya-Panchadeval-Bajraghar-Dakshin Dhoka, Jaya Bageshwori-Bhuwaneshwori-Falame Pul-Pashim Dhoka and Mitrapark-Gaurighat-Umakunda-Dakshina Murti-Rudragadeshwor-Bashuki — through which devotees could proceed towards the temple in lines.

According to Subedi, arrangements will be made in such a way that no devotee has to wait for more than an hour to reach the temple. “All four doors of Pashupatinath Temple will be opened four in the morning for the devotees to pay homage to Lord Shiva,” he said. “The northern, southern and eastern doors, however, will remain closed from 12 noon to 3pm for the daily rituals in the temple. All doors will be closed at eight in the night.” Read more

Hindus celebrating Kushe Aunshi‚ Father’s Day

August 25, 2014

Kushe Aunshi is being celebrated across the country today by bringing Kush, a grass that is regarded as a symbol of purity, into the houses as per Hindu tradition.

The grass is used in various religious functions throughout the year.

The day is also celebrated as the Father’s Day, paying respect, and reverence to fathers with gifts and various delicacies.

The major market places in the Capital have been busy since this morning with people shopping sweets, fruits, and gifts for their dearly fathers.

Besides offering gifts and ritual foods, sons express their reverence towards their fathers by bowing to touch their feet with their foreheads.

Children who have lost their fathers mark this holy day by visiting Gokarna in Kathmandu and other sacred spots and worshiping to the deities where children of the deceased fathers also perform ‘Shraddha’ to honour their deceased dads.


The rise of Bhimsen

August 25, 2014

Trade is one of the major aspects of human civilisation. Without trade, we cannot imagine our life moving smoothly. There are several festivities celebrated in Nepal and are associated with various activities of the locals. And one of the festivals that has its roots with traders is the Bhimsen Rath Jatra of Lalitpur.

This festival used to be the one to demonstrate one’s anger by poking the other with burning incense sticks, which is not practised today. Every year according to Lunar calendar, this effervescent festival takes place on Bhadra Krishna Pakshya Dashami and this year it took place on August 19 with much fanfare and excitement. Read more

Sri Krishna Janmastami celebrated

August 18, 2014

Sri Krishna Janmastami, the birthday of Lord Krishna, was celebrated by the Hindus throughout Nepal yesterday with devotion and veneration amidst a variety of programs.

According to scriptures, Lord Sri Krishna was born on the midnight of Bhadrakrishna Astami day as per the lunar calendar during the Dwapar epoch Lord Krishna is considered as the incarnation of Lord Bishnu, the protector of human beings from evil, injustice and devilish forces. He is also regarded as the proponent of the three principles of Gyanayog, Karmayog and Bhaktiyog.

Sri Krishna Janamastami is celebrated in a grand manner to cherish the good deeds of Lord Krishna for a happy and prosperous life. Lord Krishna, born to Basudev and Devaki held prisoners by Kansha in Mathura guided humanity on the path of knowledge, truth and immortality, the legend says. Read more

Devotees throng Baghbhairab temple in Kirtipur

August 18, 2014

Devotees thronged Kirtipur-based Baghbhairab Temple on the occasion of Baghbhairab Jatra, or Singha Sankranti on Sunday.

People believe that they are bestowed with success and good health if they make 108 rounds of the Baghbhairab temple on this day, said Kirtipur Jatra Festival Management Committee Member, Birendra Shakya.

On the occasion, local residents worship Baghbhairab and organize a palanquin procession playing different musical instruments.

Date: 17 August, 2014

Lakhey: The demonic dancer

August 15, 2014


His huge, terrifying mask depicting cavernous eyes, notched, saw-like teeth and protruding fangs can instill terror on the onlookers, while those long, dark-red wig and wild, gyrating movements complete the awe-inspiring countenance.

Lakhey is a demon in Newari folklore. But he’s often defined as ‘the deity among the demons’.   Believed to be a carnivorous demon who occupies the woods, Lakhey is said to have had a covenant with the cities’ early settlers who ensured its domain and even allowed it access to the cities in return for the security of the inhabitants. Read more