KATHMANDU, May 11:Madan Pahari was eagerly waiting for the moment when the main priest, who is called pakaju in Newari, would throw coconuts from the chariot of Rato Machhindranath on Sunday. The father of three children–two daughters and a son–Pahari was there to catch the coconut thrown by the priest as it is believed that the one who catches the fruit would be blessed with a son.
His eyes were fixed at the coconut as he did not want to miss the chance again this year. A farmer by profession, Paharai, 44, has complete faith in the myth. “I have been present in this ceremony for the last many years but so far I have been unsuccessful in all my attempts,” says Pahari.
So, Pahari was trying his best to get hold of a coconut at the coconut throwing ceremony, which was observed on May 11.
Like, Pahari, Bhumika BC was there to catch the coconut along with her husband. This was the second time that BC participated in the coconut throwing ceremony during Rato Machhindranath’s procession.
“It is very difficult for us (women) to participate in this ceremony because of the huge crowd of mostly males. They do not allow us to enter even in their group,” opines BC. “Actually, you can say that this ceremony is only for males.”
BC, a mother of two, takes part in the ceremony more as part of Rato Machhindranath Jatra to watch hundreds of people jostle for coconut, but does not believe the myth about the son.
“I come here to enjoy this ceremony with my relatives and friends,” says BC. “These males won’t allow us to catch the coconut.”
Like Pahari, Bhumika, Saroj Khadka also came to participate in the coconut throwing ceremony. Although, Khadka, 28, is still unmarried, he hopes that catching a coconut now would ensure that he would be blessed with a son after his marriage.
Permanent resident of Butwal, Khadka was participating in the ceremony for the first time.
“I had only heard about this ceremony in the past. But today, I got a chance to participate,” says Khadka.
According to legends, whoever catches the coconut and offer it to god Rato Machhindranath, he/she will be blessed with a son.
“Newly married couple used to visit more in this ceremony,” says Dil Kumar Barahi, who arranges the timbers used in the construction of the chariot. “However, the scenario is different today. Youngsters have taken over the ceremony.”
After the coconut throwing ceremony, the chariot of Rato Machhindranath would be pulled to the intersection of Thati on May 12. The chariot will be pulled by women on the day.