Kathmandu, 9 June : The Bhoto Jatra is being observed as part of the Rato Machhindranath chariot festival. On the occasion public holiday is announced inside Kathmandu valley.
Bhoto Jatra is celebrated on the fourth day the chariot reaches Jawalakhel. It is a separate ritual where a jewel-studded vest is displayed to all. The living Goddess Kumari of Patan also attends the Bhoto Jatra.
According to legend, a Jyapu (Newar farmer) lost the vest which he had received as a gift from the serpent god Karkotaka Naga for doing him a favour. One day, the farmer had come to Jawalakhel to watch the chariot pulling festival where he saw someone wearing his missing garment.
A quarrel developed over the vest, and since neither party could prove ownership, it was agreed that the undershirt would be kept with Bunga Dyah until the rightful owner comes to claim it with adequate proof. Since then, the vest has been shown to the public annually as a call to potential claimants to step forward.
People gather in the venue to get a glimpse of the lord’s Bhota (vest), as it is believed to bestow good luck and fortune. ‘Bhoto Jatra’ marks the end of the month-long celebration of Rato Machhindranath Jatra.
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