Gai-Jatra (Nepali: गाई जात्रा) or Cow Festival which is originally known as Saparu Festival (Nepali: सा पारु) by Local Newar in Kathmandu valley is the important festival celebrated in Nepal, mainly in Kathmandu valley by Newar Community. Saparu Festival generally falls in the month of Bhadra (Nepal Calendar) in mid-July-August. The festival is celebrated according to Lunar Nepa falls on the first day of the dark four night of the month of Gunla (Wikipedia.org)
Related: Festivals of Nepal
Related: Kwati Purnima, Janai Purnima and Raksha bandhan
Related: Biska Jatra (New Year Festival of Nepal)
Saparu (Gai-Jatra) is celebrated with full of music, Joys, Dance, Singing and entertainment shows. The festival is celebrated to remember their loved ones and wishing their soul to rest peacefully in heaven.
HISTORY OF SAPARU FESTIVAL IN NEPAL
The festival was started when King Pratap Malla. When King lost his son, queen remained heartbroken, which made the king very sad seeing her wife’s in such condition. To show her wife that death is a natural part of life, and many people showed the queen that it is not only her son died but also there is someone’s family member died through this festival.
MEANING OF SAPARU FESTIVAL IN NEPAL
Gai-Jatra in Newari it is called Saparu which is celebrated on the day after Janai Purnima. The festival is celebrated honouring the soul of the dead family members during the year to forget their sadness at the death of family members. The festival is celebrated in the month of Bhadra (August-September). According to Hinduism religion, the cow is regarded as venerated among all domestic animal and believed that cows help decreased relative’s journey of heaven, therefore, it is worshipped Yamaraj (the God of death).
Therefore, a cow is marched in the street and if the cow is not available then a young boy dressed as a cow. The Chariot made a cow with bamboo dressing them, with umbrella, horns, cow’s picture and dead family member’s pictures are made at this festival. The Taha-Macha is wrapped with the cotton cloth “a black traditional sari with red line” called Hakupatasi in Newari language is used for female and simple white coloured cloth for male.
The festival is celebrated from the medieval period of Nepal during Malla’s time period. In Bhaktapur, Ghintanghisi dance is played in this festival which many local kinds of music and some people wears women’s dress funnily and also people use face pains and masks. The dance is celebrated for almost a week till Krishna Janmashtami (Birthday of Lord Krishna).
SAPARU FESTIVAL STREET SHOW
MORAL OF SAPARU FESTIVAL IN NEPAL
If you ask, why people actually, wears funny dresses, play and dance wearing girls cultural dress by boys and girls wearing boy’s cultural dress, then its just a part to make fun and enjoy to the visitors. When you travel to Bhaktapur during this festival you entire view of lots of people which funny costumes, thousands of Dresses and Rocking Musics.
The main moral or why people actually celebrate the festival is to show that Death is a natural process and there is nothing to feel sorrow for a long time when someone is dead. Let the sorrow get healed with the time and continue your life. The Saparu festival is also celebrated because of Myth of Hinduism about cow showing the way to heaven.
SAPARU FESTIVAL CELEBRATE IN BHAKTAPUR NIGHT [VIDEO]
Gai-Jatra (2019). Gai-Jatra from Wikipedia. Retrieved from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gai_Jatra
Gai Jatra, (4th August 2020), Gai Jatra. From Welcome Nepal. Retrieved from: https://www.welcomenepal.com/whats-on/gai-jatra.html
Gai-Jatra Festival, (n d). Gai-Jatra Festival, from We All Nepali. Retrieved from: https://sites.google.com/a/weallnepali.com/we-all-nepali-main/nepali-festivals/gai-jatra-festival