By Amrit Dangol and Nirmala Dangol| Photo: Amrit Dangol and Sajana Dangol
Today is the last day of Khokanā Mahotsav. People seemed even more interested today, as the flavor of pure Newāri was going to end today. The day started with a cold morning, but got warmer as the da progressed. The warmth of the sun encouraged the enthusiastic visitors to tour the Khokanā Mahotsav. The participants also looked cheery, wearing Newāri cultural dresses in their respective wards (streets). The traditional dance performers were ready to entertain and the volunteers likewise.
To our great joy, the crowd on the last day of the Mahotsav was very huge. Many visitors came in their own vehicles and reserved vehicles too. The crowd was so huge that it looked it would get out of control; however the volunteers and security personnel did a great job in maintaining composure. Hence, they managed to make it a successful event.
The 3rd Street called GABU’s main attraction was KHA: PYĀKHĂ. Many visitors got stuck there instead of going to explore more. There were photo and art exhibition all along the street. One of the best pictures showcased was priced at RS. 25,000. The photo was awesome capturing a great shot of the village. There were many booths that were selling PASMINA SHAWLS, HĀKU PATĀSI, and other unique Newāri pottery, sculptures, and equipments unique to the Newārs. The Newārs are very skilled at making things out of straw called the CHWĀLI ART. That, too, was the highlight of the event. One corner of the village had a group of people playing Newāri musical instruments and songs. The event would have been bland without the unique Newāri cuisines served: YOMARI, CHHOYELA, WO:CHA(bara) and special local liquor called AILĀ. In fact, people were so interested in drinking AILĀ that many also got stuck there instead of exploring and learning about the culture in display.
Overall, the crowd in the event gathered was impressive. At the end of the day, it was worth seeing the joy in the eyes of the visitors. The visitors were all happy to have such a beautiful Mahotsav in a small suburb like Khokanā. I think this is the right way to promote Newāri culture and tradition. We should do this annually.
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