Citing Covid-19, CDOs in Kathmandu valley prohibit public Chhath celebrations

A Chhath celebration in Kathmandu in 2019. Photo: Bikas Shrestha
File: A Chhath celebration in Kathmandu in 2019. Photo: Bikas Shrestha

Kathmandu, November 17

Citing the risk of coronavirus infection, district administration offices in the Kathmandu valley are preparing to prohibit public gatherings on the occasion of Chhath festival in the district.

Although people living in Nepal’s southern plains only used to celebrate the annual Hindu festival worshipping the sun god, the people from Terai currently living in the valley have been gathering on riverbanks and at ponds for the celebrations for the past few years.

However, they will not be allowed to gather outside for the celebrations this time, informs Kathmandu’s Chief District Officer Janak Raj Dahal. He says a formal decision will be made about this on Wednesday.

The festival is being celebrated this Friday.

“This year, they have to worship the god from their own house,” Dahal says, “Most of the temples did not open during Dashain and Tihar also. Therefore, I believe the citizens will consider our request this time also.”

Likewise, Bhaktapur CDO Hum Kala Pandey says her office will strictly implement the cabinet decision of stopping all crowded activities during Chhath.

Lalitpur’s CDO Narayan Prasad Bhatta also agrees with Dahal and Pandey, adding the public should be aware and conscious on their own against the infection risk.

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