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Indrajatra festival begins in Nepal
2007-09-25 01:18:18 Xinhua English

KATHMANDU, Sept. 25 (Xinhua) -- The Indrajatra festival began Tuesday in Nepali capital Kathmandu Valley.

The festival, which falls in between August and September, is celebrated by both the Buddhists and Hindus.

As part of the ongoing government drive to clip royal wings, Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala, instead of the king, is going to attend the ceremony in his capacity as the head of the state-breaking away from centuries-old.

The person who is in power is the one to receive the Royal Kumari's blessings.

Koirala has already attended three important religious festivals this year which the king used to attend until last year.

The festival lasts for eight days with singing, mask dancing and rejoicing. People from all over Nepal, mostly those who live within the Kathmandu Valley, gather at the Hanuman Dhoka in Kathmandu.

The chariot of Kumari, the Living Goddess, is taken through the main streets of Kathmandu with much elaboration.

The crowd of excited people from performers to spectators engulfs the streets of Kathmandu during this festival. People get to enjoy various classical dances like elephant dance, lakhe, a very popular dance of a man with a mask.

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