Kathmandu, Nov 14: Nepal Sambat 1144 is being celebrated today across the country by organising various programmes.
Newar community celebrates the Nepal Sambat as the New Year. National luminary Shankhadhar Sakhwa initiated the Nepal Sambat calendar by liberating the Kathmandu Valley residents from debt.
Former Vice-Chancellor of Lumbini Buddhist University, Dr Triratna Manandhar, said Nepal Sambat had got recognition of National Sambat till the reign of Prithvi Narayan.
Since the establishment of democracy in 2007, a campaign has been launched for national recognition to Nepal Sambat.
The people of Newar community observe Nepal Sambat as the New Year in Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur, Banepa, Dhulikhel, and Dolakha.
Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal during his first premiership in 2065 BS had announced to give national recognition to Nepal Sambat.
Similarly, Newar community also perform Mha Puja today itself. Mha Puja is the day of self-worship. They celebrate Mha Puja on the occasion of Kartik Shukla Pratipada, (first day of the waxing phase of moon in Nepali month of Kartik).
This year, Kartik Shukla Pratipada has fallen in two days—Monday and Tuesday.
Nepal Sambat was celebrated at some places of Bhaktapur on Monday. Mha Puja was also observed in Bhaktapur on Monday itself as per the decision of Bhaktapur municipality.
Majority people of community across the country are celebrating Nepal Sambat and Mha Puja today. Nepal Calendar Determination Development Committee, however, asked to mark Nepal Sambat and Mha Puja today.
Govardhan Puja today
The fourth day of Tihar is being celebrated today by worshipping Govardhan Parbat. The ox is also worshipped and provided with delicious food today.
Today, people prepare a mixture of cow dung and ochre formed into paste and apply on the house yard and floors and make a replica of the Govardhan Mountain from cow dung and worship it.
Theologian Prof Dr Devmani Bhattarai said the ritual of worshipping Govardhan Puja was established in memory of protecting the people of a place, Gokul, by Lord Krishna from torrential rains by lifting Govardhan mountain by his hand. It is believed that the god of rain, Indra, was angered and there by caused heavy downpour.
Similarly, ox is also worshipped as the vehicle of Lord Shiva today.