Kanchanpur, Aug 23
The Gaura festival kicked off in the districts including Kanchanpur in the Sudurpaschim State today.
It is the festival believed for bringing in family prosperity, happiness and longevity. It includes the rituals as fasting, holy dip, puja, pageant and procession, said social activist Ramesh Pande. God Maheshwor and Goddess Gaura are worshipped during this festival.
As the festival rituals are conducted in group, Gaura has lost aura in the face of COVID-19 crisis this year. For fear of the spread of coronavirus, group activities and gatherings are prohibited. The prohibitory order is in place in various local levels to contain the deadly coronavirus, so the Gaura dance is not conducted in public gathering. Expert on culture in Sudurpaschim State, Mansing Bhandari, said a special Athebali song is sung in group making circle with traditional dance.
He further said the legend goes that Parvati, the daughter of Himalaya, had observed fasting, with the hope to get married to Lord Shiva. So, the unmarried women observe fasting with same traditional belief. The family members living abroad also return home to celebrate the Gaura festival. But the prohibitory order has forced everyone indoors now.
Although those living in foreign countries returned home especially after the spread of coronavirus, they are observing it by staying inside home, said another social activist Sher Bahadur Bhandari.
All Gaura rituals are conducted within homes, individually, unlike the past.