The famous annual celebration of Bhaktapur city – Bisket Jatra – has commenced from today.
The festival, believed to be celebrated since the Lichhavi Period by the Newar community, began today morning after the Chief Priest of the Taumadi Temple (Taleju Temple) worshipped the deity Bhairavanath.
According to Lekhnath Sapkota, Chief of the Religious Trust, Bhaktapur, on the first day of the festivity that spans eight nights and nine days, a wooden chariot with the idol of deities-Bhairavanath and Bhadrakali in it, is towed from Taumadi temple in the town and brought back after taking it across the upper and lower streets in Bhaktapur.
The festival, originally named Bi:Sita literally meaning ‘the serpents died’ is also believed to commemorate the valour of the mythical serpent pairs that died from the hand of a mythical Prince of Bhaktapur.
Similarly, legend goes that a 60-feet wooden pole is erected and a pair of flag is fluttered atop the pole as per the wish of the serpents.
People pray for the salvation of their dead ones during this festival, shared a cultural expert Dr Purushottam Lochan Shrestha.
Meanwhile, on this occasion, a ‘Grand Goodwill Rally’ was also held in Bhaktapur today morning to disseminate the message of peace.
The festival that begins yearly on this day is observed until April 18.