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Gai Jatra 2024 in Nepal

Gai Jatra is the procession of cows and is dedicated to God Yama – the god of death. It is observed the day after Raksha Bandhan and Janai Purnima in Nepal. Gai Jatra 2024 date is August 19.

People who had a death in their family during the previous year take part in the procession. People participating in the procession walk along with a cow and those not owning a cow take boys dressed like cow.

In the Gaijatra procession people attack social evils and customs through tableau, fancy dressing and by performing small dramas. After the procession, people participate in the festival of masks – by wearing different type of costumes and masks and making merry.

Historians are of the view that King Pratap Malla had once lost a son and the Queen was depressed. She stopped talking and reacting. The King made a promise that he will reward anyone who can make the queen laugh. So, during the Gaijatra procession people started making fun of social evils and other customs to make the Queen happy. The Queen finally laughed and the Gai Jatra became a custom.