Indra Jatra-the Biggest Street Festival of Nepal to Give Good Harvest for the Year
Yenya or Indra Jatra is the biggest street festival of Nepal celebrated during the Bhadra month of Nepal or during August to September as per the Solar Calendar. The festival lasts for about 8 days. According to this festival, Nepalese offer prayers to Dagini and Indra to achieve good harvest for the coming year, while commemorate deceased in the previous year/years. On the final day of the festival, Nepalese burn the erected flagpoles at the Durbar Square of Kathmandu City to signify the end or wind up of Indra Jatra festival.
Parts of the Indra Jatra Festival
Yenya or Indra Jatra festival consists of two different parts i.e. Kumari Jatra and Indra Jatra.
- To celebrate Indra Jatra, Nepalese perform flagpole ceremony, sacrifice blood and display various masks of Bhairava.
- After this, Kumari Jatra ritual involves marching of the chariot from various streets of Kathmandu, while Nepalese carry out their traditional dances by wearing masks.
Indra Jatra Opening Ceremony
On the opening ceremony of the festival, people host a solemn ceremony to erect the flagpole. They select a pole of 10meters carefully and set up it at the outer region of Hanuman Dhoka in the city of Kathmandu while hosting a grand dancing ceremony. Moreover, people worship nuts, fishes, roosters, goats, and buffaloes in most of the temples of the entire Kathmandu valley to Gods and Goddesses. Once the ritual completes, they distribute such offerings to the nearby crowd.
Kumari chariot is the second popular ritual and celebration of the actual Indra Jatra festival. Before a day of the grand parade, people assemble three golden temple chariots at the outer area of the Kumari Temple, while the possession goes on for three days. During this time, people wear festive costumes, accumulate at Durbar Square as well as wait for the arrival of Kumari (living Goddess) with chariots. Finally, entourage carries the living Kumari to board the last chariot and make sure that her feet would not touch on the ground. A few attendants sit on chariots to provide protection to deities and scatter flowers to the entire crowd.
Mata Biye i.e. Butter Lamps
According to mata biye or butter lamps rituals, family members accumulate and offer butter lamps to various dead relatives or ancestors. Parade starts at 6pm and people march the entire day from the ancient areas of Kathmandu City to cherish good memories of their adorable family members.