Biggest festival of Kathmandu valley Indra Jatra formally begins

22nd Sep, 2018 | Tourism Mail Crew

KATHMANDU, Sep 22:  Indra Jatra, the biggest festival of the Kathmandu valley, kicked off Friday with the erection of a wooden sacred pole, called as lingo in Nepali language, at Hanuman Dhoka Durbar Square in the capital.

The festival is named after and dedicated to the Hindu God Indra, who is regarded as the God of rain and king of heaven, according to Hindu mythology.

Rajan Maharjan, a local priest from Hanuman Dhoka, told Xinhua "Indra Jatra holds a special significance in our country as it is the celebration of victory over evil. It also marks the end of rainy season."

On the first day, the ceremonial wooden pole was raised with the huge participation of the ethnic Newar community amid the presence of security personnel. There is also a tradition of throwing gunfire by the Nepal Army.

The festival celebration lasts for eight days, when traditional music, mask dance and varieties of food are the major features.

On the occasion, locals dress in unique costumes and masks and perform "Lakhe dance" on the streets and narrow alleys of Kathmandu. 

The festival concludes by carrying out a chariot procession of living Goddess Kumari in the main streets of durbar square amid the religious rituals.   

Indra Jatra also marks the beginning of a month-long festival season of autumn.(Xinhua)