January 25, 2024 11:30 AM NPT
By: Bijaya Rai
KATHMANDU, Jan 25: Shree Swasthani Brata Katha, a popular ritual observed by Hindus since Poush Shukla Purnima (full moon day), has begun from today. The festival will conclude after a month on Magh Shukla Purnima.
Nepalis, especially the Hindu women, observe the month-long festival worshiping four-handed deity Swasthani with Chakra, Trishul, Sword and Lotus in each hand at the center while Astha Matrika or eight deities of power Mahakali, Vaishnavi, Brahmi Maheshwari, Kaumeshwari, Barahi, Indrayani, and Chamunda painted around her and reciting Swasthani Brata Katha (story) everyday.
The rituals associated with the Swasthani Katha take place on the banks of rivers at various Hindu shrines across the country.
In Kathmandu, the festival takes place at Shalinadi, a river associated with the Swasthani Brata Katha, situated in Sankhu. Devotees visit Salinadi banks near Sankhu, worship goddess Shree Swasthani, Navaraj Brahman, Goma Brahmani, Chandrawati by visiting different shrines.
Here are some photos taken by Republica photojournalist Bijaya Rai in Hanumante River, Bhaktapur, on Thursday: