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Published On: July 30, 2019 04:59 PM NPT By: Republica

Celebrating Ghantakarna or Gathamangal festival

Celebrating  Ghantakarna or Gathamangal festival

The Newar community, especially in Kathmandu Valley, is celebrating Gathamangal or Ghantakarna festival today. The festival falls on Saun Krishna Chaturdashi (the fourth day of the waxing moon in the Nepali month Shrawn as per the lunar calendar).

As per the age-old tradition, this festival is considered as the precursor to a series of other festivals observed by the Newar community. The festival is celebrated in commemoration of rejoicing at the killing of a man-eating demon called Gathamangal.

In the morning today, people make a three-legged effigy of Gathamangal from green narkat grass, a species of bamboo and the wheat straw and install it at road crossings. People take holy bath, offer prayers and worships and clean the house and courtyards early in the morning. The children put up a rope on the road as a road toll and ask for money (alms) from the passersby. In the night, the effigy of Ghantakarna is dragged to a distance and is burnt.

As per the Gopal Vamshawali scripture, Gathamangal is considered to symbolize Bhairab, the fierce incarnation of Lord Shiva. It is also taken to represent the three gunas (quality, attribute or property) namely satwa, raja and tama. The gunas are a key concept in nearly all schools of Hindu philosophy. There are three gunas, according to this worldview, that has always been and continue to present in all things and beings in the world. These three gunas are called: satwa (goodness, constructive, harmonious), raja (passion, active, confused), and tama (darkness, destructive, chaotic).

The newly-married couples are supposed to pay obeisance to Gathamangal. Its worship is taken to be important for protection from hardships and adversities. In Bhaktapur, people thronged various gods and goddess shrines for worship from early morning today, on the occasion of Ghantakarna or Gathemangal festival. They brought the holy water from the shrines and sprinkled at their houses.

Gathemangal is also celebrated as 'Sinaja Byangkegu' or the festival marking the conclusion of the rice planting. From this day, the Newars start teaching the novices their traditional cultural and religious dances and musical instruments.


Gathaa-Mugah Chahre marked in UK too

The UK based Nepali organization, Pasa Puchah Guthi UK London (PPGUK London) organized Gathaa-Mugah Chahre festival at Northala Fields, London on Saturday. At the event, around 20 kids colored the mask of Gathaa Mugah as part of the festival.

More than 130 people attended the picnic, where the Nepali community residing in the UK performed the Nepali traditional music. The music show had Sushil Prajapati on Dhaa baja, Ojesh Singh on Bhusyaa, and Ashok Awal on Taa. The event also had the presence of Miss England 2019 finalist, Pratistha Raut. 

Like the traditional music, the organization feasted the guests with 13 different Newari traditional cuisines, which included Bajee (rice flakes), Chhuye Laa (grilled and marinated meat), Bhuti (black-eyed peas), Daayeku Laa (meat curry), Aalu ko Achaar (potato pickle), Aalu-Chhwon (potato and bamboo shoot soup), Dhau (yogurt), Jeri​and Sisabusa​ (diced raw vegetables and fruits) and more.

Celebrating, Gathamangal,

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