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Ghode Jatra

Ghode Jatra or Aswa Yatra is a traditional festival of Nepal. Ghode refers to horse and this festival is about horse and its activities. Horse parade is performed in Tudikhel, Kathmandu on the day of no moon day of Chaitra Sukla Pakshya of Eastern Lunar Calendar i.e. this festival falls on mid March to early April of Gregorian Calendar.

On this day the idols of gods belonging to their localities are taken in a procession in Kharpan and Rath(chariots). Big feast is organized in this time. Demon named Gurumumpa is propitiated in Tudikhel, Kathmandu. Nepal army arganizes. different kinds of Horse race, cycle race and other competitions in this occasion. In addition to this army and police men perform acrobatic shows.

During the day idols of Lumadi, Bhadrakali, Kankeshwari and Bhairab gods are brought to the Asan chowk. This is done so that Gods meet together. Pahachare is a 3 day festival of Newar community. Pahachare means inviting guest. Pahachare falls on the Ghode jatra and begins every year on the Chaitra Krishna Paksha chaturdashi.

How Ghode Jatra Started?

There is a mythology that states the start of the Ghode Jatra. Once upon a time there was a demon called Tundi and lived on a meadow at a place now called Tundikhel. Tundi used to instigate terror among the peoples living around kathmandu. One day Tundi died and people started to celebrate by dancing on his body by riding horses. There is a strong belief that the parade of horses at Tundikhel keeps the demon's spirit away. People believe the faster the horses run, the better Tundi's sprit is dispelled.

In addition to Tundi's story people believe Ghode Jatra started to mark the start of the New Year.