The longest running festival of Nepal Rato Machhindranath Jatra
Nepal is a beautiful small country but it has a multicultural and multiethnic group of people which have been existing since the long years. Nepal is a country of the mountain but also the multicultural too. Nepal is a home of the temple or it is a country of the temple. For Hindu devotee, they are worshiping the crystal stone as an incarnation of the God so we have the more variation of the culture, traditions, festivals, local Jatra and many mores which insisting since the ancient periods. In Nepal here is the125 different ethnic group of people and 123 different spoken languages whom have more cultural aspects and believes. Every community have their own unique cultures and traditions they are following. Some of them some are similar to the another community but some are really unique and different. The national festivals and cultural parts are the glories of Nepal. From where one can understand the prehistory and ancient culture of Nepal.
Bisket Jatra, Buddha jayanti, Ghodejatra, Mahashivaratri, Holi, Machhindranathjatra, Krishnajanmaastami, Teej, Gai jatra, Indra jatra, Dashain, Tihar, Chhath, Lhosar and Maghesakranti are the major festivals of Nepal.Each and every festival they have important meanings and they have links with the myths and legends. Every festivals in Nepal it have legends and story behind it. Probably there is not any temples or festivals without any traditional myths and legends. Among them, Rato Machhindranath festival is related to the rain of Kathmandu valley. Ratomachhindranath festival is one of them which marks in Nepal every year the month of Jestha( May June) according to the lunar calendar of Nepal. Local Newar people called it Bhotejatra, Jawalajatra, Pwankalan jatra. Normally this festivals celebrate or mark to indicates the rains for the crops. Nepal is an agricultural country so without rain or irrigation, it will not good for the crops no more good harvest. Normally the month of June and July are the starting time of planting in Nepal for showing the seeds of rice, millets and many more for the production.
Summer is the main season for planting the seeds for production on Nepal. So the festival Ratomachhindranath jatra is associated with the rain of Kathmandu valley. Once upon a time, the people from the Kathmandu were suffering from the drought and at that time the king and local people worshiped the God Ratomachhindranath then after they got the more rain for the agriculture. So, since that periods Ratomachhindranath festival is dedicated to the Kathmandu valley rain God. This festival is one of the long day celebrating festival of Kathmandu. Normally it celebrates during 14 days in different place of Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Patan. This festival is celebrate for the hopes of achieving the rain for the crops and for the good harvest. It will finish when they showing the Bhoto(bejeweled vest) at Jawalakhel. By showing the Bhoto it will end for the next year.
In This festivals the main attractions is pulling 32 feet long chariot of Rato Machhindranath from the different parts of the Patan and display the Bhoto (bejeweled vest) a piece of clothe with the diamond to the public at Jawalakhel Lalitpur. For celebrate this festival the local Newar people of Kathmandu make huge 32 feet of high chariot made from the wood, bamboo and cane with the big two wooden wheels. With the help of the ropes they pull the huge Chariot of Rato Machhindranath in different place of Patan. First they pull from the Pulchok through Gabahal, Mangalbazar, Hakha, Sundhara, Chakrabahal, Lagankhel and finally they keep at Jawalakhel near Patan durbar square. From where they decide the good time for showing the Bhoto(bejeweled vest). For mark this festival there is the participation of the head of the state and Kumari (living Goddess) are attending.
Why the every year they are displaying the Bhoto? The question may arise, So legends tells that, Once upon a time there was Newar farmer or peasant who worked hard for the living or survival. Once he received a bejeweled vest from the Kornatoka ( god of the snake) after helped him. That present he had kept safely in his house. But one day his Bhoto was stolen from his house and he became so sad. Once when he was participating to see the Rato Machhindra Jatra at that time he saw a man with his Bhoto which was stolen. He confused, and there were a dispute about this and finally from the head of the state declared that, until the real person would not come with the evidence to collect this Bhoto it will belongs to the priest of Rato Machhindranath safely Bungamati. Since that time every year they are showing that piece of Bhoto or cloth which is attached to the piece of diamonds to the public’s every year to marks this festival. So since the 6th or 7th century reign of lichchhavi king Nareandra dev. Present day it is existing as a major festival of Katmandu. During this festival all the government offices remain holiday for celebrating Ratomachhindra Jatra.
Rato Macchindranath festivals describe the cultures, history and civilization of Kathmandu valley. For those who want to see the festivals, cultures and civilization of Nepal then it will be the great travel in Nepal for the pilgrimage tour. Bungmati and Khokan are the typical Newar village for a long time. So one can explore the day tour at Khokana to understand the Newar village from the close and to see the way of living around Khokana and Bungamati which is one of the tourist destinations from the Kathmandu or Patan durbar square UNESCO world heritage sites of Nepal.