Ghode Jatra


Ghode Jatra, which means Horse Parade, is organized annually at Tudikhel in Kathmandu. Ghode Jatra is organized on no-moon day of Chaitra Sukla Pakshya of the Eastern Lunar calendar. This occasion falls on about mid-March to early April on the Gregorian calendar. A huge horse parade takes place at Tundikhel. This parade is organized and performed by Nepal Army and Police together. Horse race, cycle race and other completions are arranged. Army and police men perform acrobatic shows.

It is said Ghode Jatra was conducted to celebrate the victory over a demon named Tundi who resided over the field known to be Tundikhel. Tundi was a massive terror for the people of Kathmandu. Thus, when he died people cheered by dancing over his body with horses. It is believed that galloping of horses on Ghode Jatra at Tundikhel keeps the demon’s sprit under the ground.

The idols of the gods of many localities are taken in a procession in their area in Kharpan and small Rath (portable chariots). The community conduct big feast at this duration. A demon called ‘Gurumumpa’ is also appeased at this time in Tundikhel. Idols of Gods Lumadi, Bhadrakali, Kankeshwari and Bhairav are brought to Asan chowk during the day time at the main celebration and at night in Tundikhel. This day these Gods meet together every year.

Newars of Kathmandu celebrate Ghode Jatra for several days. Actually Godhe Jatra Falls within the festival of Pahachare, which means inviting guests in Newari language. On the occasion, eight goddesses at different Shaktipiths (power centres) including Kankeshwori, Bhadrakaali and Mahankal are said to be activated through tantrik rites. On the first day, people clean their surroundings and sewage considering it a worship of Lukumahadev. In the morning, they perform Puja and some sacrifice animals. A feast begins at Ason where palanquins (khat) are dashed against each other beside the Annapurna temple. It is regarded as a symbol of meeting sisters. In the evening, idols of goddesses are taken around the city in a khat. Ghode Jatra is second day. This day palaquins are placed in Tundikhel. An intoxicated horse is also made to run in Patan. People invite their married daughters and sisters home for a grand feast on the second and third days.

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