Ghode Jatra in Kathmandu Valley in 2025

Ghode Jatra in Kathmandu Valley in 2025
Horse Riders from the Nepalese Army prepare for the race.
  How long until Ghode Jatra?
Ghode Jatra
  Dates of Ghode Jatra in Kathmandu Valley
2025 Sat, Mar 29Regional Holiday
2024 Mon, Apr 8Regional Holiday
2023 Tue, Mar 21Regional Holiday
2022 Fri, Apr 1Regional Holiday
2021 Sun, Apr 11Regional Holiday

A horse parade organized in Tudikhel in Kathmandu every year, on the new moon of Chaitra Sukla Pakshya in the Eastern Lunar calendar

When is Ghode Jatra?

Ghode Jatra is a public holiday in Kathmandu Valley, Nepal, observed on the new moon of Chaitra Sukla Pakshya in the Eastern Lunar calendar, which means it usually falls in March or April in the western calendar.

This holiday is a popular horse festival that takes place in Kathmandu.

Traditions of Ghode Jatra

Legend has it that a demon called  Gurumapa (also called Tundi) was terrorising people in the Kathmandu Valley, kidnapping children and devouring them. The demon was finally slain when he was trampled by horses.  Gurumapa was buried under a tree on Tundikhel,  a large grass-covered ground in the centre of Nepal's capital Kathmandu. Killing the demon isn't the end of the story as his spirit lived on, creating trouble in different ways.

To keep the demon in his place, the King ordered his horses to gallop over the field to trample the demon's spirit back into the ground. This annual tradition became Ghode Jatra. 

On the day, a grand horse parade takes place in Tundikhel and high-end dignitaries attend the ceremony. The Nepalese army organises horse races. It is said that the faster the horses run, the quicker the demon's spirit will be subdued. Other equestrian events, acrobatics and parachuting are also performed, making it a spectacular and popular event.

The horse parade, religiously known as Aswa Yatra, is also organized to welcome the New Year.

Large crowds gather around Tudikhel to watch but they are not allowed to enter the field.

The date of the Pāhān Charhe festival coincides with Ghode Jatra. As part of the festival, portable shrines containing the images of various Ajimā mother goddesses are carried on the shoulders of their attendants and assembled at Tundikhel for an ancient ceremony. During the event which takes place late at night accompanied by musical bands, torches are passed between the entourages of the goddesses. 

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