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Photographer's Note

First, apologies for the softness, I miscalculated the sharpening needed to appear sharp for the web at this low resolution.

This photo was taken during the festival of Indra Jatra, which is primarily a celebration of the end of the Sub-continental monsoon. Thousands of people congregate on Hanuman Dhoka, or Durbar Square within the centre of the old part of Kathmandu. Celebrations last for 8 days, and each day is marked by many processions, animal sacrifices (not so conducive to sleep at 5am!) and family gatherings. This first day is notable for the masked dances that take places to thronging crowds at this square, the location of many palaces. On the 3rd day, there is the famous parading of the Kumari, a living Goddess who is chosen as a young child and reigns until puberty in a strange isolation, idolised by the people. She is believed to be an incarnation of goddess Taleju and is celebrated by the ruling monarch, the only Hindu King in the world. This festival is celebrated by Hindus and Buddhists with equal vigor and is an exciting time to be in Kathmandu, but Nepal is the ultimate country of festivals and any visit there is likely to bear witness to a similarly exuberant event.

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Additional Photos by Richard Jacobs (rj2747) Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 37 W: 0 N: 96] (526)
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