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Nepal’s weeklong dance-drama festival, Kartik Naach wraps up for this year

Lalitpur, Nepal

The week-long dance-drama festival known as Kartik Naach, celebrated every year in Nepal came to an end with a rhythmic play at Main Square in front of the Patan Palace on Thursday.

The festival’s last day was marked with masked dancers’ rhythmic play, portraying war between lords on Thursday mid-night. The main square was occupied with devotees and spectators.
Kartik Naach being celebrated since the 17th century is an ancient story-telling art form, drawing people from various walks of life through dance and music.

“I haven’t watched or attended any of the events of the Kartik Naach and this is my very first experience. It has instilled more excitement and enthusiasm in me,” Sabina Shrestha, a resident of Bhaktapur told.

The festival was originally celebrated for 28 days but has been reduced to a weeklong festival.

KARTIK-NAACHThe festival’s amalgamative form of dance and drama has been preserved by a local community, Newa of the ancient city of Lalitpur. It is celebrated every year in the Nepali month of Kartik, that is, October-November.

Since the beginning, Kartik Naach is performed in front of the golden window of Patan Palace. It is believed that, the then Malla King, Siddhi Narsingh Malla used to watch the show from the golden window, situated at the top of the former Palace. The window is opened only during the play.

“Kartik Naach dates back to 380 years, since the time period of Siddhi Narsingh Malla. Kartik Naach is started following the advice of his Gurus. At that time the show was held on for a week while his next generations further extended it up to 28 days,” Shrestha added.

Kartik Nach was first celebrated after Late King Malla of Lalitpur took advice from his teachers, Hari Bansa Rajopadhaya and Bishwasnath Upadhyaya. First Kartik Naach took place to celebrate the completion of the Krishna Mandir, the temple dedicated to Lord Krishna, situated inside the Durbar Square.

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