Festival kicks off month of fasting in Nepal

Nepalese Hindu women dressed in red collecting holy water during the Madhav Narayan Festival on Monday at Salinadi river in Sankhu near Kathmandu, Nepal. The festival marked the start of a month devoted to religious fasting, holy bathing and the stud
PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

Nepalese Hindu women dressed in red collecting holy water during the Madhav Narayan Festival on Monday at Salinadi river in Sankhu near Kathmandu, Nepal.

The festival marked the start of a month devoted to religious fasting, holy bathing and the study of the Swasthani book, a chapter or story of which is read each evening at family gatherings.

More than 220 married and unmarried women and dozens of male devotees started their fast for peace and a better life at temple premises.

Unmarried women fast to get a good husband, and married women for their families' prosperity. The festival is dedicated to Lord Shiva, the god of creation and destruction.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 03, 2016, with the headline 'Festival kicks off month of fasting in Nepal'. Print Edition | Subscribe