Festivities return to Nepal post-pandemic with chariot procession honouring God of rain

Festivities have returned to Nepal after the COVID-19 pandemic third wave, as one of the biggest chariot festivals celebrated in Kathmandu valley--Seto Macchindranath Jatra started on Saturday. In the three-day-long chariot procession, honouring the god of rain is also known as 'Jana Baha Dyah Jatra', a skyscraping chariot of Seto Machindranath is taken from one place to another. Each day when the chariot reaches its terminus, a group of soldiers fires their rifles into the air. Hundreds of devotees flocked to Tindhara Pathsalain Durbarmarg where the chariot was being built for the procession last week. In view of the festival, restrictions availing to COVID-19 have been lifted by the local authorities.

"Before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic a large number of devotees use to participate but after the pandemic, the number of devotees decreased. The organizing committee has arranged sanitisers and is also following precautionary measures," Rajib Raj Upadhyay, member of the fair organizing committee told ANI. In the past 24 hours, the country recorded a total of 13 new cases of coronavirus out of which 12 were detected through the RT-PCR method and one through the antigen method. According to the Ministry of Health and Population, no one died due to coronavirus in the past 24 hours. The COVID-19 death toll in the country stands at 11,951 to date. Currently, there are 637 active cases in the country as 44 infected patients recovered in the past 24 hours.