The annual horse festival – Ghode Jatra

Posted Apr 4th, 2016 under Culture & Festivals,

rider on his full pas during ghode jatra

Nepal is well-known for its colourful festivals and culture, and the annual Horse festival is example of the diverse festival celebrated in Kathmandu Valley. Every year, on no-moon day of Chaitra Sukla Pakshya of Lunar calendar Nepalese Army and Nepal police host the annual horse racing and skills demonstration event. The Gorkhalis perform different stunts and parade on the horseback in the premises of Tundikhel . This occasion falls on March or early April of Gregorian calendar.

members of the Nepalese army getting ready for the event of ghode jatra

According to legends Ghode Jatra was organized to celebrate the victory over a demon named Tundi who rested over the field known as Tundikhel, at the center of Kathmandu Valley. Tundi was a terror for the citizens of Kathmandu. When he died people cheered by dancing onto his body with horses. It is believed that galloping of horses on Ghode Jatra at Tundikhel keeps the demon’s sprit under the ground. Especially Newar community of Kathmandu valley perform Puja and perform animal sacrifices for the eight goddesses at different Shaktipiths (power centres) including Bhadrakaali, Kankeshwori and Mahankal.

Ghode Jatra

Posted Mar 22nd, 2012 under Culture & Festivals,

Kathmandu is celebrating 'Ghode Jatra' or the 'Festival of Horses' today. The valley denizens believe that the festival is observed to celebrate the downfall of a wicked demon named Tundi who used to reside at Tundikhel and terrorize the people. After his death people celebrated by riding horses over his dead body. People believe that the sound of the horses’ hooves keeps away the demon’s spirit. So every year during "Ghode Jatra" horsemen from the cavalry unit of the Nepal Army ride down the length and breadth of Tundikhel(a ground located in central Kathmandu) during the festival.

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