INDIAN AND HIMALAYAN
FOLK AND TRIBAL ARTS
THE GHANTAKARNA JATRAS ON THE
MONTH OF SHRAWAN KATHMANDU 1968
PHOTO CREDIT OF JOHAN REINHARD
Ghanta Karna Chaturdasi or GhantaKarna is the Nepali festival commemorating the death of Ghanta(Bell) Karna(Ears) “Bell Ears,”,
a demon with jingling bells in his ears so that he’d never have to hear the name of Vishnu.
According some opinions the festival is a relic of ancient demonolatry in the Kathmandu valley.
In Hindu mythology he caused death and destruction wherever he went, until a god in the form of a frog persuaded him to leap into a well, after which the people clubbed him to death and dragged his body to the river to be cremated.
The Jatra is celebrated by making the domn’s effigy of bamboos which is finally burnt while the remains are sanked into the river, signaling the end of the festival.
From an iconographic point of view the body of the Demon is painted with red,blue and black color and had a pair of bells on his ear.
The festival is celebrated towards the end of the Nepalese month of Shrawan (14th day of waning half of Hindu month of Sravana)
It begin with children that collect money from passerby, then used to make an effigy of the demon,
Young girls hang tiny dolls on the effigy of Ghanta Karna to protect themselves from the demon
children sell iron rings and iron nails
It is believed that who have iron nails in the lintels of their homes or are wearing an iron ring will be protected from evil spirits in the coming year.
JATRAS IN THE SRAWAN MOUNTH
BUNGAMATI KUMARI JATRA