KATHMANDU, MAY 16 - The Kirat community is observing the Sakela Ubhauli festival beginning Tuesday.
Various clans belonging to the community—Rai, Limbu, Yakkha and Sunuwar—celebrate the festival with fanfare across the country, particularly in Bhojpur, Khotang, Dhankuta, Dharan, Biratnagar, Kathmandu and Lalitpur. The festival is popular also in Sikkim of India, Hong Kong, the UK, Australia and the United States.
According to Kirat Rai Yayokha, the festival will commence in the Valley on Tuesday with a worship at Saano Hattiban and performance of a special dance called ‘Sakela’ at Nakhipot in Lalitpur. The dance is staged at various places in the valley for two weeks. The festival highlights the agricultural lifestyle of the Kirat people. It is also considered a prayer to mother nature for healthy crops and protection from natural calamities. The ritual is called ‘Bhumi Puja’. At the call of Kirat Yakha Chumma, Sunuwar Sewa Samaj, Kirat Yakthung Chumlung and Yayokha, the government decided to give public holidays on Baishakh Purnima and Mangsir Purnima days in view of the Udhauli and Ubhauli festivals, respectively.
Buddha Jayanti, the birth anniversary of Lord Buddha, will also be observed across the nation on Tuesday. The day is celebrated in all Buddhist nations, rejoicing the enlightenment of Buddha.
Posted on: 2011-05-17 09:00