Gai Jatra is usually celebrated between July and September. Gai Jatra, also called the Festival of Cows, is a holiday that is native to Nepal. Traditionally, any family who suffered a death in the last year would lead a cow through the streets of Kathmandu. If they did not have a cow, then a child dressed up as a cow would take part in the procession instead.
The procession of cows takes place in the morning, and once the procession is over, people tend to focus on making merry. They dress up in costume, put on masks and sing, dance and tell jokes until late in the evening.
Gai Jatra is meant to acclimate people to the idea that eventually everyone dies. By making merry on a day dedicated to death, people’s inevitable mortality seems less frightening. The very visual processions showing how many people have been lost in the past year also serves to remind those who are grieving that they are not alone. Death is a natural part of life.