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Ghode Jatra Festival in Nepal

Ghode Jatra Festival in Nepal

Ghode Jatra Festival in Nepal

Ghode Jatra Festival in Nepal

The Ghode Jatra festival in Nepal is not a new thing for people who have lived in Kathmandu for all of its celebrations. If you have never been to Kathmandu before, you are in for a surprise.

During the Ghode Jatra Festival in Nepal, Kathmandu always has a Horse Parade celebration around the middle of March or the beginning of April. At a public location in Kathmandu called Tudikhel, the Nepal Army and Nepal Police put on the Horse March. There are also public displays. The whole program is put on in front of government officials and wealthy people in the state. In any case, the cultural aspect of it is more interesting.

The equestrian parade and competition are held at Tundikhel, which is a big grassy field in the middle of Kathmandu and one of the city’s most important landmarks. The Ghode Jatra will happen on Chaitra 29, 2077, this year.

That is April 11, 2021. People watch the celebration every year to honour the people who lived in Kathmandu in the past and fought bravely against the evil that terrified the city for a long time. The festival shows the real and very rich culture and traditions of Nepal.

Ghode Jatra Festival In Nepal: The History

Ghode Jatra Festival in Nepal
Ghode Jatra Festival in Nepal

People in the Kathmandu Valley were scared of a demon named Gurumapa, who was also called Tundi because he was said to take children and eat them. The demon was killed in the end when horses stepped on him. Gurumapa was laid to rest under a tree on Tundikhel, a large grassy area in the middle of Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. Even though the demon was killed, his spirit still caused difficulties in different ways.

The King gave the order for his horses to rush across the field so that they would trample the demon’s spirit into the ground again. This was done so that the demon would remain in his proper location. This yearly custom eventually evolved into the Ghode Jatra.

On this day, there is a big horse parade in Tundikhel, and many important people are there. The Nepalese army holds horse races. It is said that the demon’s spirit will be put down faster than the horses run. There are also other equestrian events, acrobatics, and parachuting, making it a stunning and popular event.

The Aswa Yatra horse parade, which is a religious event, is also held to celebrate the start of the New Year. People gather across Tudikhel to watch, but they can’t get on the field.

The Ghode Jatra festival takes place on the same day as the Phn Charhe festival. As part of the festival, people carry shrines with pictures of different Ajim mother goddesses on their shoulders to Tundikhel for an old ceremony. During the late-night event, which is accompanied by bands playing music, torches are passed between the goddesses’ groups.

How is Ghode Jatra Festival Celebrated In Nepal

Horse Parade in Nepal

The Ghode Jatra Festival in Nepal is celebrated by the troops’ army doing different acrobatic, parachuting, and equestrian acts on the Tundikhel ground in the middle of Kathmandu. The top leaders of the army, government, and diplomatic corps are all there.

People can’t go on the ground, so they gather around Tundikhel to watch and enjoy it. Soldiers drop paratroopers from planes that are flying close to the ground. The paratroopers show off many of their skill sets and entertain the audiences. The New Year also begins on this day.

In Kharpan, while the Nepal Army is doing its thing at Tundikhel, the gods of several localities are featured in their area on small chariots (Rath). During this time, the demon Gurumapa is also entertained at Tundikhel, so the community puts on a big feast.

Ghodejatra is the second day of Pahachare because it happens during this time. On the first day of Pachahare, the area is cleaned up, Lord Lukumahadev is worshipped, some people sacrifice animals, and a feast is set up. People smash palanquins into each other next to the Annapurna Temple. This is a sign of the sisters’ meeting.

In the evening, the goddesses’ statues are taken all around the city in a “khat.” Everything here is about the first day. The Ghodejatra is on its second day. During the event in Tundikhel, a similar event to Ghodejatra happens in Patan. In the past, when different kings ruled different states, people from Patan were not permitted to go to Tundikhel to see Ghodejatra.

So, they made their own kind of party to show how different it was. Drunk men dressed in traditional Newari clothing ride on the horses, which have been drinking. People yell at the horses to scare, anger, and cheer them up so they get crazy and run fast. They do this over and over again until the horses knock the riders off.

On the second and third days of Pahachare, the family invites sisters and married daughters to their homes for a big feast. In this way, celebrations are held for Ghodejatra and Pahachare.

Ghode Jatra Holiday Date in Nepal

Every year, the Newari people of Nepal have a three-day festival called Pahachare. On the second day of this festival, Ghode Jatra is the most important. The party is in the middle of Nepal, in Tundikhel, which is close to Kathmandu. People celebrate Ghode Jatra in the Bal Kumari area too.

Year Date Day
2023 21 March Tuesday
2024 08 April Monday
2025 29 March Saturday
2026 18 March Wednesday
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