The festival of Paha Charhe

  • 3 min read
Share :
The festival of Paha Charhe image
Image by Photokhichuwa

Following Sila Charhe, the Newa people of the Kathmandu Valley celebrate Paha Charhe in the month of Chaitra. On this day, people clean their houses, and courtyards and worship Luku Mahadeva (Luku Mahadyo). It is said that Luku Mahadeva is the devilish incarnation of Lord Shiva who consumes even meat.

Considering him the protector who can overpower Pischach (a malevolent spirit), people worship him on this auspicious day.

There are several stories regarding how Lord Shiva came into the form of Luku Mahadeva. Well, Luku Mahadeva is a kind of filthy form of Lord Shiva who is said to have been hidden underground for a long time. So, here is an interesting story explaining how he ended up hidden in filth.

As per a legend related to Bhasmasur, Lord Shiva blessed Bhasmasur with a powerful boon. With the power of that boon, Bhashmasur could turn anything immediately into ashes with a single touch of his right palm. After getting that boon, the demonic mind of Bhashmasur thought of eliminating Lord Shiva in the first place. Thus, he approached Lord shiva.

Lord Shiva, also without not having any other option had to run away for his life.

When he was in run, he went to the earth and hide there, until Lord Vishnu tricked Bhasmasur to burn himself to ashes. This is moreover a legend. But the filthy form of Lord Shiva somehow makes sense even for a legend if you see he was actually hiding underground.

Besides that, there is a meaning behind the name Paha Charhe. There is quite a different perspective toward the name itself. Some say Paha refers to the guest whereas some call it Paca Charhe where Paca means friends. So, the Newa people of the Kathmandu Valley invite their friends and relatives to enjoy feasts together after worshipping Luku Mahadyo.

There are also people who call it Pischach Chaturdashi, referring to the elimination of a certain demonic spirit. Since during this time, people held some tantric rituals and worshipped dangerous deities to suppress such evil spirits, the name makes sense.

In the past, when there was no advanced medical treatment, plus a blind belief in Tantrism, they could not do anything else besides relying on the powers of the gods and goddesses to defeat Pisach. Back then, Pisach represented illness, plagues, and deadly diseases. That used to come with summer seasons and dirty drinking water.

Knowingly or unknowingly, for the worshipping ritual, they clean their neighborhood on the day, which lowers the chances of getting plagues. That was a scientific aspect of staying away from illness, though.

Therefore, the Paha Charhe or Pischach Chaturdashi stood as a celebration that play a role in diminishing illness that came with summer seasons. But, we do not see this festival celebrated with that many feasts and gatherings in Bhaktapur.

But, the people from Kathmandu, nonetheless, celebrate it for three days. During that time, they worship Luku Mahadava, Naradevi, and Astamatrikas of Kathmandu, participate in parades, play musical instruments, and celebrate Ghode Jatra.


No review on this yet. Be the first one to review.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You might also like

+ A -