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Published On: April 14, 2019 08:00 PM NPT By: Renu Twanabasu

Bhaktapur celebrates Sagun Jatra

Bhaktapur celebrates Sagun Jatra

A major attraction of Bhaktapur’s Biska Jatra is ‘Swaga biyagu Jatra’, which means offerings to the deities. It is celebrated annually on the fourth of Baishakh.

Women dressed in traditional Newari dress, Hakupatasi, stand in rows. This is considered a special day of the Biska Jatra. Unlike the other days of the jatra, this day is celebrated across the town of Bhaktapur. On other days, the jatra celebrations are limited only to a certain locality in Bhaktapur. Since women offer ‘Sagun’ to the Gods, this day is also known as ‘Sagun Jatra’. The devotees carry edible offerings to the Gods in both their hands. After reaching the temple, they (offerings) are offered to the Gods. Food items from the Newari Bhoj are especially offered. Devotees can choose the offerings from the likes of alcohol, egg, fish, rice, beaten rice and roti. However, moving on with the changing times, chocolates and biscuits are also offered these days. 33 different deities across Bhaktapur are offered with a variety of offerings.

The ‘Sagun Yatra’ begins from Suryamadi. It then travels through Dattatraya, Golmadhi, Sukuldhoka, Taumadhi, Gahiti, Lakulachhen, Itachhen, Khauma and Taleju. The yatra finally comes back and ends at Suryamadi.

Culture expert Om Dhaubhadel states that the jatra predominantly has female participation. “It is understood that women head the kitchen in homes. They prepare food and serve them to others in the family. Therefore, on this day women are the ones making offerings to the different deities”, he said.  He further adds, “The specialty of this day is that all the 33 deities are worshiped and offered the offerings in Sagun Jatra. Male members of the society volunteer on this day. They play different traditional instruments, and also serve water to the devotees.

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