Bhaktapur– Bisket Jatra, an annual festival that marks the ancient solar Nava Barsha (New Year) celebrated by the Newar community in particular, has begun today. The nine-day and eight-night Jatra that is observed in many parts of Bhaktapur begins after a special tantric ritual to god Bhairavnath.
Idols of Bhairavnath and Bhadrakali, the Hindu deities, are placed in large chariots (locally known as Raths) and pulled by hundreds of the people to the Khalla Tole following worships to Bhairavnath and Bhadrakali on the first day.
The festival involves erecting a lingo (pole). People visit the area where the lingo is erected and worship and light butter lamps there. According to ancient belief, the lingo ( a wooden pole) is erected to rejoice the life of the king's son-in-law. Two red coloured cloth pieces are attached to the right and left arm of the lingo to symbolise the snakes. Following the killing of the snakes, the public was assured that the snakes would not kill anyone from then on. ---