Published On: January 16, 2019 07:20 PM NPT By: Krishna Kisi

Nava Durga Nach begins

Nava Durga Nach begins

The eight-month-long Nava Durga Nach at Bhaktapur municipality -9, Suryamadi has begun from today. The Nach that will be exhibited in Bhaktapur and many others areas of Kathmandu is set to continue till the Bhal bhal Ashtami of Shrawan. The festival annually begins from Magh 2 traditionally exhibiting from Suryamadi.

The Nach is exhibited at different localities every day. As per the members of Nava Durga Gana, the dance is only exhibited in 21 areas of Bhaktapur municipality including Dattatreya, Kwathandau, Gachhey, Dachhutole, Nagpokhari, Inacho, Golmadhi, Yachhey. Likewise, as per the tradition, the dance shall be exhibited in different localities of Taumadhi, Talako, Pottery Square, Nasmana, Gahiti, Kwachhey, Tibukchhey, Sukuldhoka, Durbar Square, Khauma and Itachhey.

Also presented in Madhyapur Thimi and Changunarayan municipality, the Nach will be displayed in Tokha and Sangha, Kavre, Nala, Dhulikhel, Shrikhandpur and Khurpu outside Kathmandu.

The Nach is being performed by Devgadh group. As per one of the members of the team, Narayanman Banamala, 19 dancers shall perform as Devgadhs wearing masks. “The holy event shall have manifestations of Bhairav, Mahakali, Barahi, Ganesh, Brahmayani, Indrayani, Dumbhasingh, Mahadev, Shwet Bhairav.”

Clad in traditional attire, the performers manifesting various gods and goddesses should present the dance barefoot. The cultural tradition suggests that the performers should have a specific food intake and stay away from family members throughout this holy proceeding. The Devgadh members inform that financial constraint is challenging the sustainability of the traditional Nach.

Navadurga Nach is understood as Jhalakyegu in Nepal Bhasa. It means to fish which is not exhibited in the Nach. The viewers whistle and tease the performers (Devgadh) while they chase them in return. There is a tradition of providing offerings if Devgadh succeeds to catch the chased person. On this note, anyone who is chased and caught is considered the fish which is why the occasion is associated with catching a fish.

As per historian Purshottamlochan Shrestha, the traditional Nava Durga Nach began from the era of King of Bhaktapur, Bhuwan Malla (1505-1519 A.D). The Nach is believed to be introduced as an alternative to combat famine that hit Bhaktapur in 1513 A.D.


(Translated by Sonam Lama)

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