By Our Correspondent, Dhangadhi, Apr. 5: The Hori festival, celebrated by the Rana and Kathariya Tharu communities for a month and eight days, ended on Monday.
To mark the end of the festival, the Tharu communities of Kailali and Kanchanpur observed Monday as Khakhdehara.
On Khakhdehara, members of the Rana and Kathariya Tharus travel some distance away from their villages at dawn and break pieces of tiles on the road. Doing this is believed to chase away ghosts and spirits from the settlements.
“Through the tiles, we take the spirits away from the villages and by breaking them, we scare them away,” said local Din Dayal Rana. “Ghosts do not bother us after Khakhdehara.”
According to Chet Ram Rana, seven types of grains including paddy, wheat and lentils along with a broom is also taken with the tiles.
Khakhdehara is also a day for celebration. People sing, dance and express joy at the removal of evil spirits. “We also collect money from each household and use it to organise feasts,” Chet Ram said.
Khakhdehara is a day meant solely for fun. “We do not work on this day,” informed Bajaura Rana. “If we find someone working or tilling their land, we fine them.”
The government of Sudurpashchim Province also declared a public holiday on the occasion of Khakhdehara.