Gai Jatra

Gai Jatra is one of the most popular festivals in Nepal. This festival is mostly observed by newari community, especially in the Kathmandu district. Gai Jatra is also celebrated in other areas like Patan, Bhaktapur, Kirtipur. Families who have lost their loved ones or relatives during the past year lead a cow in the procession, or dress a boy as the animal, to make sure their lost loved one has a place in heaven. Young men wearing women’s saris, children dressed up as cows, and all sorts of characters fill the streets. Most people believe that the soul will rest in heaven if they send a cow or children dressed like a cow on this day. All the participants walk all around Kathmandu city. While walking around Kathmandu city, relatives and friends offer milk, beaten rice, fruits, and sweets in leafy trays to the participants. Also, Bhakptapur and Patan have a different style of celebrating gai jatra. Bhakpatur is the best place to experience gai jatra as in this place, people dance and sing along the procession. So, this place takes on a much more colorful approach during Gai Jatra. Talking about Patan, gai jatra is celebrated for two days, the second day called “Matya Jatra” where people walk around the streets of Patan wearing weird kinds of clothes and lighting a candle. During Gai Jatra, Patan also looks colorful as compared to the Kathmandu district.