Phulpati - History and Celebration
The navapatriva for phulpati are carried
by the helpers from the royal Dashain Ghar of Gorkha via the ancient
route upot Jeevanpur in Dhading district. The person carrying the phulpati dives
in the rging Budhi Gandaki River instead of walking on the bridge above it or
taking a boat ot cross the mighty river. The person belives that he has the
blessing of Goddes Shakti and no harm will come his way.
Of the nine days of Navaratra, the first day of Ghatasthapana, the seventh day
of Phulpati, the eight day Maha Astami and the ninth day Maha Nawami are of
special significance in the 10 day Nepali Hindu festivals of Dashain. In
addition to the everyday regular rituals, special rituals are performed on these
days. The worshippers do navapatrika puja, also known more popularly as
phulpati, on the seventh day to ask the goddess for forgiveness for the sins
committed by the family members and put an end to their difficulties and
misfortunes and to bless the family with peace and well-being.
Preparation for the Phulpati puja begins from the sixth day of the Navaratra. On
this day, a pair of bel (wood apple) hanging from the bel tree itself is
consecrated. If a tree is not available, then pair of bel is kept in the
southern corner of one's household and worshiped. Bel fruit represdents goddess
Shree or prosperity, one of the many manifestations of goddess Laxmi. On the
seventh day or Phulpati, the above- mentioned pair of bel along with eight other
plants is taken inside the Dashain Ghar or the allocated room where the
Navaratra Puja is solemnized.
The nine plants- banana, dadim, dhanko bala, haledo, manabriksha, kachuki,
belpatra, ashok, and jayanti are collective called navapatrika. Each of the
plants represents a specific manifestation of Goddess Shakti. Banana plant
represents Goddess Brahmande, who bestows peace. Pomegranate (dadim) represents
Goddess Rakta Dantika who helps and blesses the worshipper. In rich stalk
(dhanko bala) lives Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. Goddess Durga is supposed to
grace the turmeric plant (haledo) and put and end to bighna-s or obstacles.
Ginger plant (aduwa) represents Goddess Kalika who blesses the mortals. In bel
plant lives shiva, and is the favourite fruit of Lords Bishnu and Shiva.
Similarly, in the ashok plant resides Goddess shokaha Jayanti represents Goddess
Kartikeya whi is revered by all Gods.
Some people take the navapatrika or nine plants inside the Dashain Ghar in the
morning, some during the midday and some in the evening, all depending on their
individual family traditions. Agter thi, navapatrika Puja is carried out . On
this day, Saraswoti, the goddess of learning and knowledge is also worshiped.
Besides this, people following different occupations, bring the tools of their
trades inside the Dashain Ghar and worship them and take them out on the 10th
day only. Students or people associated with learning and teaching do uja of
their books. business people venerate their scales or thier ledgets, similarly,
tailors venerate their sewing machines and blacksmiths their hamers and anvils.
In the villages, even today, tailors, blacksmiths and shoemakers don't work for
three days, the seventh, eight, and ninth, of Navaratra.
Dashain festival at Durbar
Square in Patan
People waiting for Taleju temple
The after mentioned Phulpati rituals are
followed by commoners. Rituals for royal Phulpati is performed in grandeur
scale. The nine holy plants are brought from the Dashain Ghar in the
Durbar, the ancient Shah stronghold since the days of King Drabys Shah. The
place is considered immensely auspicious for the Shah dynasty. Some say that due
to this reason, the tradition of navaratra puja and ghatasthapana in the Dashain
Ghar of the old palace is performed even today in grand scale and phulpati is
brought to Kathmandu from this sanctum.
The navapatriva for phulpati are carried by the helpers from the royal Dashain
Ghar of Gorkha via the ancient route upot Jeevanpur in Dhading district. The
person carrying the phulpati dives in the rging Budhi Gandaki River instead of
walking on the bridge above it or taking a boat ot cross the mighty river. The
person believes that he has the blessing of Goddes Shakti and no harm will come
his way. A group of assistant priests from the royal Dashain Ghar of Basantapur
place of Kathmandu will be waiting for this person in Dhading to carry the
phulpate to Kathmandu. They bring it to Jamal and from there the phulpati
reveives elaborate and royal treatment. It is placed in a palanquin under a
gold-tipped ornate umbrella. Here, the phulpati is welcomed by the Royal
Nepalese Army, Nepal poloce and government didgnitaries . After this an army
platoon of the royal priest leads the phulpato parade to Hanumandhola Place.
While the procession is on its way to Hanumandhoka, the king witnesses the
ceremonies taking place in Tundikhel, the army parade gournds. Guns and cannons
are fired to honor the phulpati. By the time the functions of phulpati, also
known as phulpati badai, is over, the phulkpati procession will reach
Hanumandhoka Palace. The king also proceeds to Nasal Chowk (courtyard) of this
palace and pay homage to Nava Durga, the nine shakti goddesses. With this ends
the phulpati ceremonies.
18 december 2004 - 29 januari 2005 -
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