Amrit Dangol and Nirmala Dangol
15th January, 2011
Nepal Tourism Year 2011 formally started from yesterday. On this occasion, many festivals are taking place in Nepal. Khokanā Mahotsav is one of them and is the main attraction of all. It begins from the 1st to 3rd of Māgh (January 15th-17th) and is organized by “Jyāpu Mahā Guthi.” People who are behind this Festival are putting their all efforts for the success of the Khokanā Mahotsav and making it the most memorable event in the national and international level. The main objective of this Mahotsav is to promote the Newāri culture and preserve it and make it known to people around the country. We think, this is the proper way to promote the Newāri culture and preserve them.
The festival has started from today. It was inagurated by the minister of the tourism, Sarad Singh Bhandari. Khokanā seemed to be unusually very neat and clean than other days. Local citizens are very motivated, so they are working with great enthusiasm for the success of the Mahotsav. People from all over the nation are here to witness the Mahotsav in the first day.
Lots of domestic and international tourists out there are trying the real Newāri flavor. The security personnels are maintaining peace here and volunteering to organize the crowd. Locals are wearing typical Newāri dress – Daura, Suruwāl and Dhākā Topi. Cultural program is also taking off at 1pm onwards. In this program, people from Khokanā are going to perform the Newāri cultural dances, exhibit dresses and many beautiful antiques used by the Newār people. This little suburb is filled with many stalls.
Also included were the demonstrations of the festival of the mythical monster called “Gathāmuga” and making of straw mat called, “Sukul,” various Newāri dishes like “Yomari” and many others in Gābu, 3rd Street. Also, Samay Baji, a basic dish of five different dishes altogether, is shared out to people there.
Another highlights of the festival is the demonstration of traditional weaving called, “Thāi Thāyegu” in Nhyabu, 1st Street. This little town is almost full with visitors. The media are busy in reporting and other some reporters seemed quite busy taking notes of every detail of the things they saw and felt here. The photographers are ready with their cameras to capture all the memorable moments here in khokanā.