Gaura festival in Sudurpashchim

Dadeldhura, Aug. 25: People in the Sudurpashchim Province have celebrated the Gaura festival with great excitement. Thursday was the main day of the festival known as Athewali and people celebrated it by placing representations of Gaura and Maheshwor in lawns outside their house and worshipping them. 

A festival associated with the identity of Sudurpashchim, Gaura was celebrated in a grand manner across the province. It was also celebrated in several districts of Karnali Province as well as in parts of the Uttarakhand state of India. People of Sudurpashchim currently living in the federal capital Kathmandu also observed the festival.

Gaura festival begins on the fifth day of the bright half of the Nepali month of Bhadra. On the first day, women make 5 types of food items wet, collectively called Biruda, in a copper pot. Because of this, this day is called Biruda Panchami.

On the second day, this soaked Biruda is taken to the nearest tap or pond and washed. On the third day, Goddess Gaura is worshipped in local temples and married women offer her a special kind of religious thread.

The fourth day is the Athewali when people observing the Gaura festival fast and worship Gaura, who is the manifestation of Goddess Parvati, and Maheshwor, who is Lord Shiva.

Although Gaura begins on the same day for all, different families and communities conclude it on different days based on their customs and traditions.

Gaura festival is also a time for merrymaking as people sing Deuda songs and perform related dances. They sing religious tales in various folk melodies including Chaitali, Dhumari and Dhusko. People also use Deuda to share happiness and sorrows among each other and satirize social malpractices and politics.

The Sudurpashchim Province government has declared Thursday and Friday as public holidays for the Gaura festival.

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