Bhagasti-Bhalabhala Astami

The Goddness Nava Durga’s Life Cycle comes to an end Today. Until Gathamuga Chare, all of Nepal’s deities had resided beneath the water, not on the land, from the day of Bhagasti. Bhagasti is also known as Bhalabhala Astami. A Nava Durga Gana member wanders about the city, offering Pasuka to all of Bhaktapur‘s followers in order to keep them safe while they are away from the city. The biggest example of this form of storytelling is Navadurga Dev Gana Nach, which has been conducted in Bhaktapur every year since the 14th Century.

 

Although the majority of people have heard of it, only a small proportion of the public is aware of it. Every year on Bhagasti, the Navadurga Dev Gana is slain by burying masks in a rite (Bhalbhal Ashtami).

Along with Bhaktapur, Kirtipur’s Baghbhairav Naach, Kathmandu’s Pachali Bhairav 12 year old Khadga Siddhi Naach, and Bhadrakali’s 12 year old Naach, which is done once every 12 years, are all completed on this date. It is traditional in the Newa community to sing the praises of Ganga Mai as “Shri Ganga Mai Nirmal..” from this day forward. It is also said that on Ashtami day, it rains.

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