Atwari being celebrated

Sudurpaschim, Sept. 17: The Dagaura Chaudhary community in the Tarai region of west Nepal is celebrating the Atwari festival today.

Sunday is known as ‘Atwar’ in this community dialect and the festival’s name is ‘Atwari’. The festival is celebrated on the first Atwar or Sunday following the Shree Krishna Janmashtami festival in the month of Bhadau as per the lunar calendar.

It is considered that the various cultural programmes as the community’s folk dances and rituals start after this festival. The individuals of this community who are primarily farmers remain busy in agriculture during the monsoon.

In this festival, there is a tradition of brothers observing fasting for the whole day wishing for long life for their sisters. They even do not take water. In the evening, those observing the fast participate in the puja rituals after cooking various delicacies at their houses.

The festival ends after serving ‘agrasan’ to the daughters and sisters. Agrasan is the food item that is to be served separately to the daughters and sisters after finishing the puja rituals. The ‘agrasan’ is taken to the home of one’s married sisters and daughters on the second day of the festival.

According to the community elders, this festival is commemorated in celebration of the bravery demonstrated by Bhim, one of the five brothers known as Pandavas in the legend of Mahabharat. Bhim demonstrates extraordinary feats while the Pandavas are sent into exile in the forest after losing in a gambling duel to the Kauravas. The Atwari festival celebrates Bhim’s heroism. Bhim is worshipped during this festival.

It is believed by the Dagaura Chaudhary community that the ‘Badkimar’ or the time for reading out the Mahabharat epic begins from the day of the Atwari festival.

The Sudurpaschim provincial government has given a public holiday today on the occasion of the Atwari festival.

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