Indra Jatra 2024

17 September 2024
Sikkim    Regional holiday

Indra Jatra, also known as Yenya, is the largest street festival in Nepal and some parts of India. It falls in Nepali Bhadra month, August to September in Solar Calendar, and lasts for eight days. Following Gai Jatra, Indra Jatra festival is celebrated by Nepalese to pray to Indra and Dagini for a good harvest and bless the deceased in the past year. On the last day, the flagpole erected at Kathmandu Durbar Square is burned down, which signifies the end of Indra Jatra festival.

It begins with the erection of a wooden pole made of pine at Basantapur Square in front of the old Hanuman Dhoka Palace. For the pole-raising ceremony, hundreds of spectators gather at the Palace Square and in the surrounding temples. The chariot of Kumari, the Living Goddess, is taken out in a procession through the main streets of Kathmandu.

Masked dancers are known as Lakhay, they take to the streets almost every evening accompanied by loud drums. The festival marks the time when Indra came down from heaven in human form to look for a herb. Each night of Indra Jatra the shrines and ancient palace buildings around Kathmandu Durbar Square are decorated with oil wicks. There is an enactment depicting the ten earthly incarnations of Lord Vishnu each night on the platform in front of the temple of the Living Goddess. The large image of Akash Bhairabs head is put on display out in the open facing this temple at Indra Chowk.

The festival of Indra Jatra ends with the lowering of the pole bearing Indras flag amidst religious ceremonies. This flag is burned down signalling the end of the festival. People from around the world come to witness these celeberations.