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Sithi Nakha, the day to clean up water sources, today



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By A Staff Reporter
Kathmandu, June 16: On the sixth day of the waxing moon, a religious and eco-friendly festival ‘Sithi Nakha’ is being celebrated in the Newar community by cleaning the water sources.
According to the lunar calendar, the festival falls on Wednesday with the onset of monsoon season by cleaning all water sources- well, stone spout, royal cannel, water tank and pond.
The word “Sithi” was modified from the Sanskrit word “Shashthi” which means sixth and “Nakha” means festival in Newari language. The name ‘Sithi Nakha’ was given as it falls on the sixth day of the bright fortnight.
It is also celebrated in honour of lord Kumar on his birthday as Kumar Shasthi.
Prakash Amatya, a culturist, said that Sithi Nakha is related to water, livelihood, public health, environment and personal hygiene. So, it should not be limited to a particular community. It must be connected with all communities in the national level as a “National Water Festival”, because all needs water.
According to the religious belief, snakes and other aquatic living creatures leave the water sources and attend their cultural event ‘Dewali’. So, the time is safe for the people to clean them and make the aquatic creatures and snakes happy.
However, people these days are slowly discontinuing it, the young generation is even ignorant about this festival and logics behind it, said Amatya.
On the day, people get up early and take holy bath and perform Kulpooja which is related to the personal health hygiene and prepare traditional pancake ‘Bara’ with eight kinds of beans and ‘Chatamari’ as a tribute to their ancestral god.
On the day especially the Newars of the Kathmandu Valley prepare a typical Nepali dish made of maas (black lentil), mugi “kidney beans, kasu “small peas ground, bodi “beans” and offer to Kumar.
The Newar Community cleaned the idol of Sithi Kumar at Jaisidewal on Sunday and the festival is celebrated for four days, which ends on the day of Sithi Nakha.