Ghode Jatra

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Ghode Jatra(horse parade) falls on the new moon of Chaitra Sukla Paksha according to the Nepali calendar and in mid-March to early April in the English calendar. On this day a grand horse parade takes place at Tundikhel. Legend has it that the demon Tundi was killed here. Tundi had terrorized people for a long time until one day he was slain and people rejoiced by riding horses over his body. Killing the demon wasn’t the end of the story as his spirit lived on, creating trouble in different ways. To keep the demon in his place, the King ordered his horses to gallop over the field to trample the demon’s spirit back into the ground. This annual tradition became Ghode Jatra.

During the Ghode Jatra, tt is said that the faster the horses run, the quicker Tundi’s spirit will be subdued; hence the horse racing and all the acrobatics at Tudikhel. The festival is attended by the army top brass, the top government officials, and diplomats. A huge crowd gathers around Tudikhel to watch, however, the general public is not allowed to enter the Tudikhel. The army also takes it as an opportunity to display their skills as paratroopers drop down from planes flying close overhead.

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