After bisket jatra, Gai jatra holds the record of the largest jatra of Kathmandu valley. Of course, being sanctioned for eight days. Although people of patan, Bhaktapur, Kathmandu, and Kritipur celebrates this jatra. Bhaktapur grabs the attention of visitors. Because of its unique style to celebrate this jatra. Gai jatra is a satiric street festival. A festival where anyone can make jokes about social issues. Well, locals call this jatra as paru too.
Tall bamboo poles wrapped with clothes and horns made of straws are the basic feature of an artificial cow. There, at the top, people put an umbrella to finalize this cow or gai. Later on, four-person following the parade carries the gai. That parade of people, they play ghintang ghisi and makha pyakhan. And play traditional music too. This is the view, which you can observe on the very first day of the jatra. During the festival, locals perform many other acts in different places. Some of them include:
- Kawana pyakhan,
- bhalu nach,
- khicha pyakhan,
- bhairava dance,
- lakhey dance,
- Devi dance and many more.
Moreover, most of the artists perform their dance in front of the current durbar square. If you want to check that out. You must visit Bhaktapur durbar square on the last day of the gai jatra.
As per history, King Pratap Malla commenced this jatra. He was the then ruler of Kathmandu. He introduced this jatra to reduce the grievance of the queen, for instance. It is said that she went on depression due to losing her most adored and the second eldest son, Chakrabartendra. To make her realize that she is not the only one who lost her son or any family member. The king ordered everyone to come up with crazy and funny attire. Especially, from the family suffering from the same grievance. And, this is how the Gai jatra commenced.