(August 16, 2019)
Gai jatra festival is celebrated with lot of gusto and merriment. In Bhaktapur, throughout the day, processions of people dressed comically parade the town dancing to the tune of highly enlivening Gai Jatra music. If nothing more, the day is totally entertaining.
Hindus believe that the gates of Yamlok, the domain of Yamraj-the God of death-open only once a year,on the day of Gai Jatra. It is pertinent that after people die their departed souls reach Yamlok. The belief is that the passage to the gateway is very tough. Therefore, to ease the passage of the souls the families pray that cows are there to bring those souls to the gate of Yamlok. Hence, the families of the lost members organize processions followed by symbolic cows or boys decorated as cows.
Yet another aspect of Gai jatra is the dance of the Bhairab. In pottery square in the evening locals enact the dance emulating Bhairab and 13 other Hindu deities. Bhairab is the fierce looking manifestation of Hindu God Shiva, the one who takes care of the time given to all the beings in the universe.
All Buddhist monasteries are open throughout the festival.
|01.||Receive & transfer from the airport or Kathmandu to homestay / Refresh / Lunch / Evening tour of Bhaktapur Durbar Square / Dinner|
|02.||Breakfast / Spend the whole day in Bhaktapur to tour to heritage sites of Bhaktapur and also observe Gai Jatra; watch processions of people merrily dance to the lively traditional tune of 'Ghentang kisi' - the tune of Gai Jatra carried on for generations and only played in Bhaktapur / dinner / Go to Potter's square to watch unique Bhairab dance, particularly exhibited by potters of Potter's square only / Return to homestay|
|03.||Tea, coffee / A nature hike up to Surya Vinayak and Subarneswor temple / Brunch / Departure to Kathmandu or airport|