Bisket Jatra in Thimi
Bisket Jatra is one of the greatest festivals that is especially celebrated at various places in the Bhaktapur district. It is a harmonious celebration of the traditions, beliefs, culture, and ethnic identity of the people who live in Bhaktapur.
It is also the festival of God, people, love, color, and friendship. This festival is celebrated at the start of the Nepali New year (Bikram Sambat) which is also the official calendar of Nepal. The festival welcomes the Nepali New Year and marks the arrival of the spring season.
They bring color and magic to daily life and are eagerly awaited events. The festival is marked according to the solar calendar. Almost all the festivals in Nepal happen as per the lunar calendar.
Bisket Jatra celebrated in Thimi has its own flavor, unlike the Bisket Jatra in other places in Bhaktapur. Thimi is an ancient town settled by Newar people. It is located at the center of three major cities of Kathmandu valley: Bhaktapur, Lalitpur, and Kathmandu. Therefore, this city is also named Madhyapur. It denotes Mid-city in the Nepali language.
It lies about ten kilometers east of Katmandu and some 3km from Tribhuvan International Airport. This city is on the way toward Bhaktapur from Kathmandu. This ancient city is rich in cultural and traditional values. It is one of the few townships where one can experience the genuine Newari culture, in terms of both festivals and lifestyle.
Bisket Jatra of Thimi is also called Sindur Jatra (Vermilion Powder Festival) as you can see all people’s faces are covered with orange color. In Thimi, it is celebrated for three days.
On Nepali New Year’s eve, the Jatra (festival) takes place in the Vishnuvir Temple area nearby Balkumari. On the evening of the first day of the year, it takes place in the Siddhikali temple area. On the second day of New Year which is also the special and main day of Bisket Jatra of Thimi, it takes place early in the morning at the Balkumari Temple area. Balkumari is the most revered temple in Thimi.
On the main day (3rd day of the festival) early in the morning people from the various parts of Thimi bring chariots (Khats) carrying images of different Gods to the premises of Balkumari Temple. These khats are carried on their shoulders and parade up and down the streets with sindur (orange powder) hurled at them.
The people throw sindur at each other and dance to the beats of drums, cymbals, and dhimes (traditional musical instruments). The crowd parades the town with khats, sindur, musical instruments, and dances. They revolve around the Balkumari temple with chariots.
Folks from various parts of Madhyapur Thimi carrying 32 chariots of deities gathered and revolved around Baalkumari temple. People carry flaming torches or play drums and cymbals. The vermilion powder is spread around each other bodies with joy playing Newari Dhime music. In no time the whole locality turns colorful orange. The environment becomes unbelievably too festive with time.
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Calendar of Bisket Jatra Festival at Thimi in Bhaktapur in 2024
|1st day of the Festival||April 12th, 2024||Around 4:30 PM||Bishnuvir Temple area|
|2nd day of the Festival||April 13th, 2024||Around 4 PM||Siddhikali Temple area|
|3rd day of the Festival (Main day)||April 14th, 2024||Around 7 AM||Balkumari Temple area|