Ghode Jatra Being Observed Today

Himalaya Times
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Ghode Jatra is celebrated today. Ghode refers to horses, while Jatra refers to a festival. In Nepal, it is also known as Horse Racing Day.

Every year on the no-moon day of Chaitra Sukla Pakshya of the Eastern Lunar Calendar, Ghode Jatra is held to commemorate the victory of the demon Tundi over the city of Kathmandu. Horses are thought to have been employed to trample the demon's body, therefore a parade of horses became an element of the event.

A long time ago, a demon named Gurumapa existed who was cunning and used to kidnap children in order to torment and frighten them.

The inhabitants of Kathmandu attempted all they could to destroy the monster, including stones, swords, and everything else they could get their hands on, but in vain. So, one day, they unleashed a horsestorm on the demon.

They delighted at the devil's vain echoes and hailed a fresh dawn and a new beginning. According to folklore, the uproar of the horse's hooves on Ghode Jatra in Tundikhel keeps the evil spirit at bay as it threatens to destroy the city. As a result, they founded Ghode Jatra, an annual ceremony of horses running in Tundikhel.

It is thought that if the horses run faster, Gurumapa's ghost would be dispersed faster. The fast running of the horses on this day is also seen as a positive omen by the Nepalese.

Ghode Jatra was once only commemorated with horse parades. Today Ghode Jatra is celebrated with  program held at Tundikhel, in the heart of Kathmandu.

For the Ghode Jatra, Horse polo, horse stunts, races, and other events are organized by army authorities.

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