Swasthani Barta is considered more as a month-long fasting ceremony rather than a festival. Yes, there is a particular place where this ceremony takes place and a grand mela also occurs yet, it is not considered as one typical Nepalese festival.
During this long event, in most of the houses of Hindu, a book named Swasthani Barta kata is read. One chapter per day. There are 31 chapters in this book, all kinda related to Lord Shiva and Goddess Swasthani herself.
In which, she (Goddess Swasthani) is depicted as one calm and glorious deity. Also, the one who does not forgive offenders. It’s a kinda complex composition. Yet, she is acknowledged as the Shakti, the mother goddess of the universe.
Kumarji Aagya Garnuhunxa…
This is how each chapter starts in that book.
Well, about that book, several studies say that it was first written in the Nepal bhasa which means today’s newari language as early as in 693 Nepal Sambat or around 1573 A.D. by Jayanta Dev during the reign of Malla kings.
Later on, it was translated into the Nepalese and Sanskrit languages, around the 19th century. And, today it is in process of publishing in the English language.
This barta (fast) is bounded with some rules like waking up early in the morning and then having a bath in the nearby Salinadi river. They have to eat non-salty foods, once a day, all prepared by themselves.
It resembles having a month-long deep mediation.
On the other hand, people from Kathmandu, Banepa, Bhaktapur, Lalitpur, Pharping, and other regions visit that spiritual place at least once on that moon. Also, there is a practice like either you could go there once or thrice like only in even numbers.
And, these days the place gathers so many people that it could beat the Ason Bazaar of Kathmandu. Yes, this fair just confirms that Nepal really is a Hindu subjugated nation where you would think, how to go there rather than where to go.
Because you could hardly find a space to put your foot on that fair. Get that!
Reading and listening, each night to a story for a month is like an annual activity for the people of Kathmandu valley. Even after recalling each story, they sit down and listen to it as if they are hearing it for the first time.
It all starts from a full moon day until the next one. The last day of the barta is also celebrated as the Madhya jatra in Bhaktapur whereas the day is called Swasthani Punhi or Si punhi.
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