Indra Jatra festival begins

Indra Jatra Festival of Nepal

Get a glimpse of Kumari, the little Goddess, at Kumari Ghar in Basantapur.

Indra Jatra, the biggest festival of Kathmandu Valley dedicated to god of rain Indra, formally began today with the erection of a sacred wooden pole (lingo) at Hanumandhoka in Basantapur Darbar Square.

Indra Jatra Festival in Nepal

People pull ropes to erect lingo (a wooden pole) to commence the start of the eight-day long Indra Jatra festival, at the premises of the Hanumandhoka Durbar Square, in Kathmandu.

The festival lasts for eight days with singing, mask dancing and rejoicing along with other rituals. It is also celebrated in Kavre and Dolakha districts.

Indra Jatra festival falls on the fourth day of the waxing moon in the month of Bhadra as per the lunar calendar.

Indra Jatra Festival

Pulu kishi dance in Indra jatra (Elephant Dance)

Legends said that the Indra Jatra festival is observed to celebrate the victory of the gods over the demons to release Jayanta, the son of Lord Indra.

Indra Jatra Festival in Kathmandu Durbar Sqaure

Indra, the god of rain, is worshiped in this festival primarily celebrated by the Newar communities following both Hinduism and Buddhism.

Source: Thehimalayantimes

Indra Jatra festival in Nepal

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Indra is Lord of Rain and the king of Heaven. Jatra is procession. Indra Jatra is celebration of God Indra’s Day.  Indra Jatra is festival of Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal.  Some believes Indra Jatra is thanking day to lord Indra for the rain. According to others, the festival is celebrated in the honor of Bahirab, who is Shiva’s manifestation and is believed to destroy evil.Indra-jatra-festival-nepal

Indra Jatra begins every year from the day of the Bhadra Dwadasi to Ashwin Krishna Chaturdasi. It is an eight day long festival. This year it starts from September 08, 2014 and last through September 16, 2014. That is from Bhadra 23 to Bhadra 30, 2071 as per Nepali B.S Calendar. The official calendar day for the festival is on September 08, 2014.

The festival begins with the carnival-like erection of The Linga (Yasingh), a ceremonial pole, accompanied by the rare display of the deity Akash Bhairab, represented by a massive mask spouting Jaad and raksi (Nepali local liquors). Households throughout Kathmandu (especially Newars) display images and sculptures of Indra and Bhairab at this time of year. This thirty-six feet long wooden pole (The Linga (Yasingh)) is chosen with great care from the Nala forest in Kavre district east of Kathmandu.

According to traditional beliefs, Indra had received this flag from Lord Vishnu for protection.

Finally, the Kumari (living goddess), leaves the seclusion of her temple in a palanquin and leads a procession through the streets of Kathmandu to thank Indra the rain god. The main attraction of the festival is the procession of chariots and masked dancers representing deities and demons. Indra is called Yanya in Newari. Jaad (Nepali local liquor) flows from the Bahirab statue, which is remarkable to look at in Hanuman Dhoka.
The procession consists of:
•    Majipa Lakhey
•    Pulukishi
•    Sawan Bhaku
•    Ganesh (Chariot)
•    Kumar (Chariot)
•    Kumari (Chariot)

Besides these, there are various dances held on the open stages of the city called dabu. There is display of Swet Bhairava as well as various deities of the city.