Holidays in Nepal. Swastani Bata Kata

Nepal is rich in its traditions. More than 80 percent of the followers of Hinduism and more than 10 percent of the followers of Buddhism live here. Therefore, all Hindu and Buddhist holidays are celebrated in Nepal. And there are a lot of them! Sometimes they last one day or several hours, and sometimes the process takes an entire month.
Swastani Bata Kata is one of the holidays that Nepalese Hindus celebrate leisurely for a whole month in January-February. This is a Hindu festival and is dedicated to the goddess Swastani. Each night for a month, family members gather in a circle and tell stories from a collection of 31 chapters of folk tales. One chapter is read every night. The main plot of the book is the legends about Svastani, which miraculously fulfills all desires that were made with a clear conscience and thoughts. The book also tells the stories of various gods and goddesses.
Many men leave their families at this time, and spend a whole month alone, reading sacred texts.

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While the chapters of this folk epic are being read, women observe the fast for the sake of family welfare, and girls – in order to get a good husband. On the last day of the festival, women prepare a variety of food, which consists of 108 parts.

On this day, everything should be divided into 108 parts, even flowers. Of these parts, eight are given to the husband, if there is no husband, then to the son, and if there is no son, then to the son of friends or neighbors, and if there are no men or boys nearby, then the woman should

throw an eighth of the food and flowers into the water of the nearest river.

On the last day, Nepalese Hindus try to bathe in the sacred Bagmati River near Kathmandu. But if it is not possible to come to Kathmandu, ablutions are performed in the nearby rivers.

Unmarried women pray for a good and wealthy husband, while married women pray for the health and long life of their husbands. Some men, in order to purify their thoughts for the fulfillment of desires, shave their heads, crawl around the Pashupatinath temple on their bellies or roll around shrines, while women watch them closely.

One of the rituals of the Svastani Bata Kata festival is filling clay pots with water from the Bagmati River, which runs next to the Shiva temple – Pashupatinath. This water is transported by pilgrims home or to their home temples.