Saturday, May 7, 2011

On the Festival of That Big Thing

Over the last month, while we've been out and about in the city, we've come across this:



I continued to wonder what it was because I had never seen anything like it in India.
{If you look closely you can see several men climbing up the side of that big thing.}

I was finally given some insight into what that big thing is in an email I received this week:

The origins of Rato Machhendranath are from the valley’s agricultural days.  The festival commemorated the pre-monsoon season in worship of the prominent rain god.

"As this striking red spectacle makes its way along the streets of the city, Lord Machhendranath is said to look down from the high seat of his chariot at the joyous proceedings that surround him.  The chariot snakes its way along the city streets, leaving a very visible red trail in its wake. As he goes the ‘king of serpents’ reveals his glorious jeweled vest to the public and he is asked to give his blessings to passersby. The event is ended in a night of celebration and feasting and is hopefully followed not long afterwards by the refreshing monsoon season.”

More information can be found here.

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