Yasi Thaneu at Hathakhya
Wooden Pillar Installation at Hathakhya
Do you know there is a festival dedicated to friends in Nepal? It’s called Pahanchare or Pasachare. Pasa means friends in Nepal Bhasa and chare means the fourteenth day of the lunar fortnight. Likewise, Pahan means guests. This festival is celebrated every year for three days where one can witness, parades of the mother goddesses, mask dance and many more in Kathmandu.
On this festival, people invite friends and relatives and honor them with a traditional Newari feast. So, what can one expect on day one of the festivals? On the first day of Pahanchare which is also Pisash Chaturdasi, it is believed that Lord Shiva himself becomes a pisach or evil spirit. He is then called and worshipped as Luku Mahadyah. This incarnation of Lord Shiva is offered meat and alcoholic drinks which is considered impure while worshipping Lord Shiva in other days.
Mythology says that Goddess Parbati once questioned Lord Shiva regarding his refusal to take meat, garlic, and alcoholic drink, inviting him to join her. The Great Lord, allegedly to please Parbati, took her to a lonely field where they could hide among the radish and mustard plants while gorged on these forbidden foods. Now on Pisach Chaturdasi people offer the Hiding Shiva yellow mustard flowers to symbolize gold and white radish blossoms to represent silver in memory of this occasion. And on this day only, Luku Mahadev must be offered impure foods to satisfy and pacify the pisach or evil spirit which possesses him, that he may remain tranquil and protect the area from diseases and misfortune.
His stone idol that is kept inside a hole in the ground, often in a corner where garbage is dumped is opened on this day. Houseowners perform their devotions to the deity by making offerings of a feast along with alcohol and meat.
On the same day, a Wooden pillar is carried and installed from damai twa (tole) to Hathakhya performing ritual and placing a long cloth “Patah” engraved with “Astha Matrika”. A sacred masked dance at Naradevi is also performed on this day. The dance is known as Nyatamaru Ajima Pyakhan or Swetkali dance.