Nepal: Kathmandu hosted the chariot procession of Seto Macchindranath- one of the biggest chariot festival formally started on Wednesday, March 29, 2023. The festival included the rolling out of the chariot in the main city square and the hundreds of women came onto the street to pull the chariot through the mass of devotees with the fall of the day.
The festival is of three days and carried out the Seto Macchindranath Jatra aiming to honour the god of rain which is also known as Jana Baha Dyah Jatra. A skyscraping chariot of Seto Machindranath has been taken from Teendhara Pathsala to the former Royal Palace. The chariot will tour around the city during these three days. The group of soldiers fires rifles into air once the chariot reaches its terminus.
Nanira Maharjan- one of the members of the Baha Dyah Jatra organizing committee stated that they have been pulling the chariot of Seto Macchindranath from 2073 BS and outlined women are eagerly participating in the procession. The festival is regarded as the god of contemporaneous and the god of rain who brings on rain and good harvest.
The people in Kathmandu who celebrate the festival believed that there would be plenty of rainfall and famine would stay at bay. The festival will take out prosperity and happiness in Kathmandu and there is also belief that illness would get cured, there won’t be situation like that of famine. As per the myth, people used to bathe in a holy river and visit Swayambhunath during the regime of Yakahya Mall- King of Kantipur. It was believed to posses the power of sending people to heaven after death.
Once Yamraj got to know the power of Swayambhunath and vsited the holy temple at the time his return from the temple, Yama was captured by King Yakshya Malla. At the end, the god was white in colour with his eyes half-closed. Now, people started to celebrate this 3 day long procession to honour the god.