Nepali New Year and Bisket Jatra
It is known as “Navavarsha” in Nepal. Nepal has its official calendar that begins from the first day of the first month Baisakh. This very first day is observed as Nepali New Year which usually falls in the second week of April. People go for picnics, have get-togethers and celebrate the day socializing in various ways as this day is also a national holiday. The Bisket Jatra Festival of Bhaktapur coincides with Nepali New Year. There is a legend that every man who married the Bhaktapur Princess died the honey-moon night. So, one brave prince stayed a wake the night to see that two serpents came out of the two nostrils of the princess when she was asleep. The prince quickly took out his sword and chopped the serpents head off the body.
The next day morning, the serpents were displayed in a pole and the Bhaktapur amidst the celebration which continues till today in the form of Bisket Jatra Festival. Still the symbolic pole is erected in Taumadhi Tole of Bhaktapur during this festival. After two days of the erection of the pole, images of Lord Bhairab and his female counterpart Bhadra are enshrined in two large chariots and pulled through crowds of cheering onlookers. When the chariot reaches a sloping open square, there is a tug-of-war between the inhabitants of the upper and lower parts of the town. Winners are considered to be blessed with good fortune for the coming year. The festival concludes with several days of dancing and worship. Thimi, another ancient town of the Valley, also celebrates the New Year with special festivities.