Friday, January 11, 2008

Finally Festival Fotos

Sorry about the title. I can never resist an opportunity to alliterate. So ... I have a rare moment and am posting a few promised photos from festival season. If I knew how to post process in photoshop they might look better - but I haven't figured that out yet.

Teej - the three day festival for women involves feasting and fasting. Women wear their wedding saris (red and gold) and fast and pray for their husbands (or would be husbands if that is the case). The main event centers around Pashupati - a most sacred site in the Hindu world where people also cremate their dead. It is a sea of red saris lined up for hours and hours. They sing and dance, get their hands decorated with henna. Not everyone goes to Pashupati, but it is the most desired locale. Some just go to any ol' Shiva temple. The second photo just amused me. Just a few of Sadhus bestowing wisdom to a young man. They are often high - not sure what that is about.

Indra Jatra fell on a rainy day. During this festival, among other events, the Kumari, a child goddess, emerges from seclusion, rides on a chariot like structure from Basantapur square to Hanuman Dhoka and blesses the King and nation. I wonder if she has ever withheld it? In this politically dramatic year it was notable that it was not the King who was to be blessed, but the Prime Minister. While the weather was gloomy (Monsoon was supposed to be OVER!), the colors were still fabulous. I was within twenty feet of the Kumari as she was lifted onto her chariot - her feet are not to touch the ground. She is a little girl. She is the object of worship because the people believe she has the power to bless or curse the nation as a reincarnation of Vishnu.

Tihar, the festival of lights. Chundevi Temple, a small neighborhood temple, has just had its candle's lit by local women.

Enough for today - a certain cute toddler want's Mommy's attention. Namaste.

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