KATHMANDU, Aug 27: Gaijatra, a traditional festival of cows, is being observed in Nepal mainly in the Kathmandu Valley with fun, humor and much fanfare.
The festival, beginning on the first day of the waning moon in the Nepali month of Bhadra as per the lunar calendar, lasts for a week.
During the festival, people of all ages impersonating cows and lunatics go around the city, wearing odd costumes to commemorate those who died during the past year. The bereaved families offer fruits, bread, beaten rice, curd, and money to those participating in the procession including the cows.
This festival is believed to have started during the reign of King Pratap Malla, who, in a bid to console his queen grieving over the death of her son who died due to smallpox, ordered his people to organize a program full of humors and satires with various comic postures.
Newspapers and magazines also bring out special humor and satire supplements to mark the occasion.