The Gaijatra festival, or the 'festival of cows', is being celebrated in the Kathmandu Valley on Thursday with people dressed in costumes taking out colourful parades around the city in memory of the family members who have died.Gai Jatra festival watch in Bhaktapur, Nepal
Today, families who have lost a member during the year parade around the city with a decorated cow. Many kids disguise themselves as cows or ascetics and walk publicly in a procession along the festival route.
According to religious scriptures, 'gai' (cow) helps departed souls to cross the cosmic ocean in their journey into the after-world. Cows are sacred animals in Hinduism.
There is also a comical aspect to the festival. Humorous and satirical street shows of the people in power are performed in major towns of the country. Many newspapers also publish special editions with humorous and satirical articles marking the Gaijatra festival. In this festival, irregularities of the society are exposed through satirical means.
The people, especially of the Newar community have been observing Gaijatra festival since the Malla period to commemorate the loss of their family members by going around the town with masked faces and idols of cows