KATHMANDU, Nepal–Ghode Jatra or the Horse Racing Day was observed in the capital Kathmandu, Sunday. The festival falls on the New Moon Day in the month of mid March or early April every year as per the lunar calendar.
During the Ghode Jatra, a grand horse parade takes place at Tundikhel, the central point of the city reputed to have been in the former days the largest parade ground in Asia.
According to legend, the festival was held to celebrate the victory over a demon named Tundi who controlled the meadow, known as Tundikhel. When Tundi met with his death, people rejoiced by dancing on his body with horses.
It is believed that the clamor of horses’ hooves on Ghode Jatra at Tundikhel keeps the demon’s spirit at bay as it still threatens to ruin the city.
Also on this day, the Nepalese Army demonstrates various equestrian games.
The President, the Vice President, the Prime Minister, the Speaker, ministers, the heads of constitutional bodies, chiefs of the security bodies and high ranking government officials also attended the Ghode Jatra.
The government has announced a public holiday in Kathmandu Valley on the occasion of Ghode Jatra.