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Corona Update Nepal

Gathe Mangal

Subash Shrestha May 24, 2020

Gathe Mangal is the festival celebrated by Newar community. People celebrate this festival every year on Shrawan Krishna Chaturdashi. It is celebrated as a belief for good fortunes. In this day it is believed that the celebration is to chase away evil spirits.

Gathe Mangal is also called ‘Gathanmo’ by Newars which refer to the demon of the festival- Ghantakarna. And is celebrated as rememberance of the end of Ghantakarna.

On that day:
As a belief people put on iron rings so that it will keep away demon and evil spirits as a shield against them. They believe that wearing iron ring will protect them. The locals hammer three legged nails onto the door before nightfall so as to scare away ghosts.

iron ring

People also celebrate this by offering clothes, money, handmade dolls and salt to a man who roam around that day(on occassion) wearing back tar on his face. Its a symbolic representation of Ghantakarna.

Similarly, many dummies of the demons are made and placed at streets intersection. Cooked rice are placed on those spots. Later the dummies are dragged to river bank for disposal.
Some other things that people do on that day includes cleaning their house. Also having Samabaji(beaten rice, garlic, ginger, black soybean, meat and potatoes) to celebrate. Some streets drama are acted out roaming around many streets.

In an ancient time there were water shortages and violent storm occurring during Summer. That brought various digestive disease. People believed that due to the absence of the Nine Durbar that set free evil spirits to cause that problem entering the city.

Some also believe that people started to celebrate this day in Lichhavi era. As from a folk lore, Ghantakarna (the demon) had a pair of bells on his ears. That’s why he is called by that name. The demon used to terrify and kill him but several unsuccessful attempts. But a clever frog was successful in killing them on his way(demon) for hunt, by trapping in the swamp. Hence, Newar community started to worship frog on this day.


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