Bisket Jatra (Nepali New Year) is just around the corner!
Here is some information regarding this festive New Year celebration in Bhaktapur on April 14th:
Bisket Jatra is the annual celebration of two of the most important deities of the town of Bhaktapur, the wrathful god Bhairab and the goddess Bhadrakali.
Bisket Jatra heralds the start of the Nepali New Year and is celebrated with the most intensity in Bhaktapur. In one of the most exciting annual events in the Kathmandu valley, a huge chariot carrying images of the god Bhairab is hauled by dozens of young men to Khalna Tole.
The creaking and swaying chariot lumbers around town, pausing for a huge tug of war-between the eastern and western sides of town. The chariot also rests at certain time-honored places in the city and people come out to throw offerings of flowers, rice, coins, and red sindur powder.
After the battle, the chariots head to Khalna Tole, where a huge 25m-high lingam (phallic symbol) is erected in the stone yoni (female genital symbol) base.
In the evening of the following day (New Year’s Day), the pole is pulled down by contesting terms of men, a moment of danger and excitement and an often-violent tug-of-war. As the pole crashes to the ground, the New Year officially commences.
Long banners hang from the pole, symbolizing the conquered in a mythological battle. On New Year’s Day, contesting terms of men pull the pole to the ground, a moment of danger and excitement.