Gunla 2007

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

I have been quite busy these days and I don't have much time to go out and participate in this year's festivals. I really miss it but I just cannot help it. All of my friends and family have also been busy so I had been skipping lots of festivals this year. In these two weeks, I missed two of the important festivals, Gunla and Nagpanchami. Well I just have gathered some information about Gunla, and with my experiences throughout the years I lived and enjoyed I am going to write and share it to this blog of mine. I hope you guys will enjoy reading about the festivals of Nepal.

Gunla is the name of the 10th month in the Nepal Era calendar (Newari Calendar). According to Gregorian calendar, Gunla lies on the 14th of August this year (2007). It is a sacred month dedicated to Lord Buddha. The festival commemorates the auspicious "rains retreat" when the Buddha, over 2,500 years ago, led his close disciples into solitary meditation and preached to them the essence of his principles.

Buddhists spend month in prayer and fasting. They visit Swayambhu and other shrines early in the morning accompanied by musical bands. On August 25, groups of devotees make the rounds of monastery courtyards to view Buddha images displayed for the occasion. The Gunla lakhe (masked dancer) enlivens the festival with this street performances.

I have gone to Swayambhu lots of times in that festival in the past. Not only Buddhist but lots of Hindus go to Swayambhu as most of the Hindus of Nepal do pay respect to Buddha as Buddha was once a prince of Newari family. So you will find lots of Newars worshiping and praying to Buddha. This is the time of the year, where you can find Swayambhu crowded with lots of people and devotees of all ages. Mostly you will find lots of young guys and girls, mostly teenagers, wandering around the road going or returning from Swayambhunath temple. On the way back from Swayambhunath, lots of guys and girls stop by one small cheap restaurant where they serve one of the most popular Newari foods for breakfast called Gwaramari (Fulaura in Nepali). I just had to write about Gwaramari as it is one of my favorite food after momo. Well I am sure I will go at least once this month to Swayambhunath temple anyhow. I just love that place.


Anonymous said...

The write must be eating Gwarmari while writing this article.

Anonymous said...

I visited Swayambhunath Temple and one of the monkey tried to snatch a Pepsi from me and I left from there immediately & went back to the Hyatt hotel provided to us by the GMG Airlines from Dacca,Bangladesh and I washed my clothes at the hotel myself and the detergent I used was Wheel a product of India which the tour guide bought for me from Patan Square.

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