Jatra is generally translated in English as Festival, most likely a traditional Festival. Jatra’s play a significant role in preserving the traditions and are considered as the identity of any community and religion. They carry enormous religious significance among the Nepalese, especially Newars. The Newar collection of Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, and Patan has many Jatras they observe yearly together with true loyalty and belief.
Bisket Jatra at Bhaktapur – A Visually Stunning Festival in Nepal
Bisket Jatra and Gai Jatra are renowned as essential Festivals of Kathmandu valley. Thousands of individuals gather at Bhaktapur durbar square to commemorate those Jatras. The Bisket Jatra suggests the ending of a year and also the beginning of a brand new year around the Bikram Sambat calendar. A couple of days ahead of the Jatra, chariots are constructed from the Bhaktapur Durbar square and pulled by local young people throughout the narrow streets of Bhaktapur.
Bisket Jatra, commonly known as Biska Jatra Bhaktapur’s weeklong festival, marks the early solar Nava Barsha (New Year) and is the only festival that doesn’t stick to the lunar-based Nepali calendar. The span of this Jatra varies following the lunar calendar and Terrible positions.
The Bisket Jatra consistently occurs during the ending and start of the new year of the Bikram Sambat calendar. It commonly falls around the April month of AD. The festival concentrates on pulling chariots of two deities, the wrathful god Bhairav, and goddess Bhadrakali. A couple of days ahead of the jatra, chariots are constructed from the Bhaktapur Durbar square and afterward pulled by local young people throughout the narrow streets of Bhaktapur
Belief and History of Bisket Festival
The Bisket Jatra has a lot of historical stories relating to the goddess and gods. One of the numerous views of sailors about the background of Bisket Jatra, two tales about snakes are frequently accepted by Newars of the region. Bisket Jatra is popularly known as “the Festival after the passing of the serpent.”
King Jagajyoti Malla, who had been fascinated by fantasy and folklore, heard of this story about a gorgeous princess the deaths of the princess’s husbands. The princess held a curse that decreed that anybody who married her could die the next moment. After a young man has been selected to wed the princess, despite concerns from his older mother, Goddess Bhadrakali that arrived as a part of another old woman, proposed that the young remain awake after the princess fell asleep. The young man remembered the help of the woman and stood alert. He sits with the princess staring in her face. After a time, two poisonous serpents crawled in the nose of this princess.
King Jagjyoti adored this fantasy and desired it to be recalled with joy and prosperity. The event was known as Bisyaku Jatra and now called Bisket Jatra. In the Newari speech, Bi Syaku signifies snake bliss.
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A Myth Regarding the existence of Bisket Jatra – The Two Serpents and Rice Grains
Another popular myth about Bisket jatra and its existence circles round the Shidev Kings. Whenever the Shivadev Kings ruled over Kathmandu, Kirats assaulted Bhaktapur and looted and conquered individuals. To be able to stop these attacks, the King consulted with a tantric Shekharacharya who changed himself into a tiger and chased the Kirants.
One day, the Tantrik’s (A man who performs special rituals in Hinduism relating to special magic) wife desired to observe that the Azinger (python) type and asked her husband to change shape. The Tantrik obliged but gave rice grains to scatter him over so he could return to his natural form. Because of this, she turned into a python. The kings then began to accelerate the lingo in memory of this bunch.
There still exist several myths regarding the way the Bisket Jatra came to existence. Still, the heritage of Bhadrakali’s information along with both serpents and rice grains is more notable among the natives of Bhaktapur.
Celebration of Bisket Jatra at Kathmandu Valley Nepal
Bisket Jatra is celebrated traditionally with many scarifications as well as a higher level of belief in it. Mostly Bisket Jatra is observed in 2 places, Bhaktapur Durbar square(Word Heritage site) and Thimi. It attracts thousands of individuals around the Kathmandu valley at Bhaktapur Durbar square. Locals vertical the most important chariot of god Bhairav and the other chariot of goddess Bhadrakali. A couple of days before the new year, Bhairav and Bhadrakali are enshrined within their chariots and hauled through narrow roads around Bhaktapur.
Another highlight of Bisket jatra is the tug of war involving the upper and lower portion of the city. The top component (Thane) and the lower part (Kone) pull the chariots towards the own side. Afterward, the chariot is led towards Kalla Tole. Neighborhood inhabitants of Thimi collect, carrying their chariots. Groups of individuals come together, bring out 32 palanquins known as Khats that include distinct gods. Sindoor (Vermilion crimson ) powder when showered across the gods and individuals place the sindoor on each other and provide prayer to the gods.
Bode, an ancient Newar town of east Kathmandu, observes the jatra at a piercing service. A local Newar volunteer to pierce his tongue having the iron spike and then roam several areas of the town by taking fire torches on the shoulder. The custom of building lingo began to celebrate the life span of the living son-in-law of this King. The lingo has been brought down another day to indicate the beginning of the new year.
The lingo is awarded two palms, that signifies the two serpents from the myths. The palms are worn red banner ads to signify them. An extended banner hangs in the surface of the lingo that represents a victory in the early Aztec battle.
Once the snakes’ palms on the lingo were murdered, individuals are assured that snakes wouldn’t kill anybody from the year. Folks arrive at the location where the lingo is vertical and light bulbs. Local people worship the lingo as well as the idols of snakes. Another myth implies that folks worship the snakes since the reptile in linked to water and rain and also assists in agriculture. Local men and women agree that lingo could also be worshipped to demonstrate respect for those reptiles.
After the lingo is crashed down along with the New Year starts, two days stay from the Bisket jatra. During both of these days, both chariots are taken to the open area of Bhaktapur Durbar square and clashed with each other. Large groups of young men and women pull the chariots with the support of ropes and battle the chariots. There’s a spiritual significance. The chariots are stricken with one another.
The chariots are subsequently combined with each other to signify a successful consummation after the union of the King’s daughter and also the courageous son-in-law. He freed the King’s daughter out of the serpent’s curse.
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The last two weeks of this Bisket jatra sees fellow events, jatras, and spiritual rituals. Traditional songs, rallies, and dances fill the region of Bhaktapur. Bisket jatra is still one of the most essential jatra of Bhaktapur and also the most followed by a massive group of individuals of this valley. Bhaktapur is 14 miles away from Kathmandu and increases enormous strength and fame throughout the festival.