KATHMANDU, Sept 19: Despite the risk of a new variant of COVID-19, Indra Jatra celebration is in full swing at Basantapur Durbar Square, Kathmandu.
Last year, the festival was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, the procession formally began with the erection of a lingo (sacred wooden pole) at Hanumandhoka in Basantapur Durbar Square on Saturday. As various dance sequences including the Mahakali dance are being performed, the crowd has also increased. It has not been possible to celebrate the festival by maintaining the health protocols.
Various famous masked dances, folk drama, and chariot processions such as Ghintang Kisi, Nawadurga, Pulukisi, Lakhe, Dashavatar have created an atmosphere of fun and merriment in the Basantapur Durbar Square area since Saturday. Young people who did not get to participate in the procession last year due to COVID-19 can be seen enjoying the festival this year. Although many people have masks on their faces, the social distance rule has not been maintained.
The eight-day long annual traditional festival begins on the Bhadra Shukla Chaturdashi of the Nepali month of Bhadra.