Ghode Jatra in Nepal

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29 Mar, 2014


Ghode Jatra is one of the festivals in Nepal celebrated between the month of March/April. This jatra is celebrated with a grand horse parade in Tundikhel with acrobats and other performances by Nepal Army. In the past days, it was celebrated with the worship of goddess in Bhadrakali Temple following the Living Goddess Kumari along the horse parade in the presence of the King or Head of the State.

It is said that the festival was held to celebrate the victory over a demon named Tundi who resided over the meadow, today known as Tundikhel. Tundi brought terror in the city, and when he met his death, people rejoiced by dancing on his body with horses. So, it is believed that the clamor of horses keeps the demon’s spirit at bay as it still threatens to ruin the city. It is said that the faster the horse run quicker will Tundi’s spirit be dispelled and the swiftness of horse is considered as a good omen for Nepalese people. On the other hand, in Patan a horse and a rider is intoxicated with hard drinks and made rush swiftly with the people frightening it.

It is celebrated by distributing rice, lentils, milk to the children in different locations of Kathmandu itself. The children participating in it should be Kumar or kumari i.e. the male child have not performed “Bartabanda” and the female child have not performed “Bel-Bibaha/Gufa. In the same day, the idols of gods of many localities are taken in procession in their area in portable chariots. On the next day, a meeting of Lumarhi/Bhadrakali from Bhadrakali itself, another Bhadrakali idol form Tehbahal(near Sundhara or NAC) and Kankeswori takes place in the day time at Ason. The same takes place at night in Tundikhel. Then, at midnight, a demon called “Gurumumpa” is propitiated in Tudikhel.

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