Gai (cow) Jatra (festival/celebration) is a carnival, a tradition that people who have missed a member of their family in the year, takes part in this carnival. The young members of the family wear different decorative garments and colorings, try to show their unique presence and try to make the gathering funny with a parade in the street. This is truly a commemoration for the demise of the loved ones. Gai Jatra takes place on the full moon of the August.
How Did Gai Jatra Begin?
In the 18th century, during the Malla dynasty, Gai Jatra began in Kathmandu. The credit goes to King Pratap Malla in the beginning. When King and Queen lost their son untimely, Queen became so sad and spent days and days sitting and weeping just at the memory of her son. King asked people to parade in the street all the families who have lost their family members. Then, in the Gai Jatra festival, there was a huge parade in the city that King and Queen observed it. The Queen consoled herself that she was not only the mother who lost the children, but many families have lost their nearest and dearest ones. The celebration of Gai Jatra can be seen in Kathmandu Durbar Square, Patan Durbar Square and Bhaktapur Durbar Square. Newari communities, mostly celebrate this tradition. The Nepal Government announces holiday on the day of Gai Jatra.
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