13:55 GMT +315 October 2019
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    Nepalese soldiers on horseback jump through burning arches during the Ghode Jatra (horse race) festival in Kathmandu on April 3, 2011

    Spectacular Horse Racing Festival Celebrated in Nepal

    © AFP 2019 / PRAKASH MATHEMA
    Asia & Pacific
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    Ghode Jatra festival, the traditional festival of horses, took place in Nepal to trample the spirit of a resident demon into the ground.

    The annual festival of Horse Racing known as Ghode Jatra, religiously named as Aswa Yatra, was celebrated today at Tundikhel in Nepal's Kathmandu. Ghode Jatra, meaning "Horse Parade", was organized by the Nepal Army at the Army Pavilion.

    ​The Ghode Jatra festival is known as one of the oldest festivals in the country where dozens of horses belonging to Nepal Cavalry performed different stunts during including several competitions.

    ​As per legend, the festival is celebrated to free the spirit of a demon named Tundi, who used to live on a meadow, which is now at Tundikhel. It is believed that the parade of horses at this particular place will keep the demon's spirit away. The faster the horses run, the more Tundi's spirit is dispelled.

    As per other mythology, it is said that the festival Ghode Jatra is celebrated to mark the start of Nepali New Year.

    The event falls on the Nepali month of Chaitra according to Eastern Lunar calendar. This year the festival was celebrated on Chaitra 25, 2072. That is on April 7, 2016.

    Nepal's President Bidhya Devi Bhandari attended the event along with Vice President Nanda Bahadur Pun, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and other high level government officials.

    Tags:
    horses, national mythology, army, festival, Nepal
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