The venerable living goddess will not leave her temple this year, AP Reports:
The old mansion courtyard filled with hundreds of thousands of people every year during the Indratra Festival is deserted, temples are closed, and the government bans all public celebrations to curb the spread of the Coronavirus.
Autumn is the season of festivals mostly for Hindus NepalReligion, ceremonies and rituals are large parts of life, but this year people will have to curtail their rituals indoors.
Many in this Himalayan country believed that they would anger the deities by avoiding rituals that might cause disaster. Violent clashes even erupted between police and religious people defying government orders during a separate car festival south of Kathmandu.
The closure order took place around the eight days during which the canceled Indrajra festival was to be held, and instead a small ceremony was held to request pardon from Indra, the Hindu rain god, under government security.
During the festival, Kumari, A girl who is valued as a living goddess is escorted around the main part of Kathmandu in a chariot drawn by worshipers. After the cancellation, she did not leave her temple palace. Her car is locked in the shed, and armed police guard the squares.
The chief administrator of Kumari said: “There will be hundreds of thousands of worshipers crowding in the courtyard and streets during the festival, which would have put many of them at risk of contracting the Coronavirus.” Gautam Shakya. “We had to stop this centuries-old festival for the first time ever.”
Shakya and his family have been caring for the Kumari for generations. A young, impeccable girl is chosen from one clan and worshiped as a living goddess until she is replaced at puberty. Senior officials and the public touch her feet to bless her.
A small group of devotees who sneaked through the lockdown and security to pray in front of the living goddess said they needed to continue the tradition that their ancestors followed.
“The festival and Kumari is not just a tradition, it is our culture and a large part of our lives. We cannot stop anything, not even the epidemic,” he said. Shanker MajayaWashed was able to offer flowers and sweets to the goddess.
Magaya was saddened by the cancellation, saying that while they understand the government’s order, they need to protect their religion, culture and traditions.
He said, “The gods have disappointed us and we need to keep the gods happy so that we are all happy and prosper.”
The Nepalese authorities imposed a strict lockdown due to the Coronavirus in March, and it was eased in July.
More than 76,000 people have been injured and 491. But outdoor festivals and religious gatherings remain banned and temples remain closed.
Near the Kumari temple, a colossal statue of the Hindu deity Sweet Bhairaf is opened to the public only once a year during the festival. Faithful people pay each other for a sip of rice wine released from a tube attached to the statue’s head.
This year, the doors only opened, and very few people were fortunate enough to sip holy wine.
Priest of the temple Prakash Tamrakar He said the festival should have been allowed with social distancing precautions and the police shut down the yard.
“My family has done this for generations and I never once heard that it was canceled,” the priest said.
“These holidays are done so that we pray to the gods to spare people all problems and protect us all from diseases and disasters.”
Just south of Kathmandu in the city of Lalitpur, a five-story carriage bearing the statue of the god Ratu Machindranath was built for a festival that was stopped by government orders.
Frustrated worshipers revolted and thousands gathered to pull the cart earlier this month. They clashed with riot police, who fired tear gas and water cannons, and beat some LatheAnd bamboo clubs. Several people were injured and many were arrested.
The largest and most famous Dasain Festival in Nepal is celebrated in October for two weeks with public holidays. People travel to see the extended family, celebrate daily feasts, and visit temples. However, activities are expected to scale back with some prohibitions this year.
He said: “We do not celebrate festivals this year because of the virus and we do not have additional money to spend, but if we are alive and well, then there will be festivals next year and the year after that and we have a big celebration.” Kumar Shrestha, Owner of a sweet shop.
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