Kathmandu, April 7 (IANS) The annual horse racing festival of Ghode Jatra was celebrated in Nepal on Thursday with merriment.
The festival, celebrated in the Nepali month of Chaitra, is regarded as the oldest festival in the Kathmandu valley and sees dozens of horses belonging to the Nepal Cavalry take part in various artistic stunts, Xinhua reported.
President Bidhya Devi Bhandari, who is also the supreme commander of the Nepal Army, was present along with Vice President Nanda Bahadur Pun, Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli, chiefs of security agencies, representatives from diplomatic missions and government officials.
The horses took part in rise pass, pony race, charger race, tent pegging, cross tent pegging, sword stunts, vaulting and fire jumps among others.
Nepal Cavalry, which was raised during the reign of Surendra Bikram Shah in 1849 A.D., has been participating in various state ceremonies since its inception.
As per mythology, the festival is celebrated at Nepal Army pavilion in Tudikhel to free the spirit of a demon named “Tundi”, who used to live on the same meadow.
It is believed that the parade of horses at this particular place will dispel the spirit of the demon.
As per another myth, it is said that the festival Ghode Jatra is celebrated to mark the start of the Nepali New Year in mid-April.