Hindus across Nepal witnessed the celebration the annual Madhav Narayan festival at Thecho, Lalitpur on January 28, 2018.
The festival that begins with the start of full moon in the month of Poush, the ninth month according to Nepali calendar, commenced on January 03, 2018 this year.
As part of the tradition, devotees take dips in holy waters during the festival as a tribute to Goddess Swasthani.
Marking the commencement of the festival, a large number of Hindu devotees thronged at Hanumante River in Bhaktapur on January 03, 2018.
As part of a special custom, young boys dressed in traditional attire take part in a long procession around the town with oil lamps on head, hands and shoulders.
Devotees also recite holy scriptures and also sing songs dedicated to Hindu deities Shiva and Swasthani.
As part of the rituals, women pray for the longevity of their husbands by observing fasts all through the month. ‘
The 30-day-long fast is called Brata in Newari and Nepali languages, and only involves a combination of grains used for the festival.
Finally, the festival concludes with the Ashwamegha Yagya, where devotees offer prayers to Lord Shiva throughout the night.
On this special day, offerings such as sweets and flowers, among others are presented in 108 pieces and distributed among male members of the family or immersed in holy waters.
Also known as the Swasthani Brata Katha festival, the festival usually falls during January-February and ends on the full moon day.
This month-long annual Nepali festival is dedicated to Lord Madhav Narayan or Goddess Shree Swasthani.
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