Monday, November 3, 2008

19 days of pro-democracy movement

Assessing that more than 70,000 devotees will take part in the celebration Chhath festival

Assessing that more than 70,000 devotees will take part in the celebration, preparations for the Chhath festival has been completed in the Kathmandu Valley on Monday.
The number of Chhath celebrants has increased in the Valley this year because of obstruction of the East-West Highway by the devastating Koshi deluge and adoption of the festival by people other than that of the Mithila descent. Many people from the eastern Terai across the Koshi River could not return home to celebrate this festival this year.
More than 40,000 devotees are believed to be participating in the religious carnival of Chhath at Thapathali Ghat along the Bagmati River alone Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning, said Satish Jha, secretary of Chhath Pooja Committee. “This will be double of the last year’s participation,” he added.
Devotees, principally women, throng the river banks and the ponds to worship the setting sun on the eve and the rising sun on the main day of the festival to break their fast.
According to Shree Prasad Sah, coordinator of the Chhath Festival Celebration Main Committee, preparations have been made for 35,000 devotees for the Chhath celebration at Ranipokhari.
To perform the rituals of the festival last year about 25,000 people thronged the artificial pond built by King Pratap Malla three centuries ago at the hub of the capital city.
A study shows that 15 per cent of total devotees who take part in the carnival are non-Terai people. “Because of the participation of other communities in this festival, communal harmony and brotherhood have been developed,” Jha said.
Taking into the increasing number of devotees into consideration, the area for performing rituals have been increased up to one kilometre at Thapathali along the Bagmati.
Besides Thapathali and Ranipokhari, the Chhath pooja will be performed at Guheshwori, Manahara, Kuleshwor Mahadev, Naxal Nagpokhari, Chiplekhola at Nagdhunga, and Balaju