Indra Jatra is an important annual festival in Nepal, particularly in the capital city of Kathmandu. “Indra” is the name of the Hindu god of rain of heaven, while “Jatra” means “procession”. Thus, Indra Jatra is a procession held in honour of the Hindu god Indra.
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Note: Indra Jatra is observed in Kathmandu valley only.
Many thank Indra for the rain on Indra Jatra, especially farmers and those whose livelihood depends on receiving sufficient rainfall. Others, however, focus instead on the Shiva manifestation called “Bahirab” who is supposed to be the destroyer of all evil, on Indra Jatra.
The parade in Kathmandu consists largely of colourful and ornate chariots, while ceremonial poles and a giant festive mask that spouts out local Nepali liquors are also key to the celebrations. Many Nepali families will also put idols of Indra or of Bahirab on display this time of year.
The festival of Indra Jatra lasts for eight or sometimes nine days, and being based on the Hindu Calendar, its date varies on the Gregorian Calendar.