The festival pays tribute to the deceased loved ones of the Hindu and Buddhist religions.
Nepal has already stolen out heart when we found out about the five-day Tihar festival with one day dedicated to celebrating dogs. And now, we have a stunning display of images of the Bala Chaturdashi festival, or as it is also known as, Satbij Charni Ausi. The festival is one that traditionally takes place at the end of the year late in November or early December for the deceased members of the families who follow the religion.
1. It all starts at the Pashupati temple in Kathmandu, a night before the festive day, where members of the family go to the temple for a certain set of prayers
2. After the worship, they light oil lamps and honour Lord Shiva.
3. They chant mantras and dance with the lamps before lowering the lamp into the Bagmati River.
4. The lamps float along the river and what a wonderful sight it is.
5. They also stay awake the whole night and reflect on the deaths of their loved ones.
6. It is said that by performing this ritual, they can secure a better place in heaven for the dead.
7. As dawn breaks, the people walk to the banks of the river to cleanse themselves with water.
8. They, then, walk to the opposite side of the temple to the Kailash forest.
9. Along the path, they scatter satbij, seven types of seeds and grains mixed together from place to place.
10. These grains represent the folk of cleansing the sins of Balasur, the cannibalistic demon.
11. They have to be scattered along the whole path till the end and pass many Hindu temples on the way.
12 All the seeds must be scattered and people should complete the walk before sunrise.
13. They return to the temple for a final offering of seeds for the dead.
14. They finish off the ritual with another cleanse and their duties to the dead are completed.
15. People travel from all over the country for this ritual and those who are tourists get to see the amazing visuals that the custom creates.
16. It captures a glimpse into the wide culture of India in a way that does not look at death in a negative light.
17. What an incredible India indeed.