Kathmandu : President Bidya Devi Bhandari attended the Basanta Shrawan ritual at the Hanumandhoka Durbar Square precincts this morning.
On the occasion, the President listened to a special melody, Basanta, at the auspicious hour of 11:35 am and received tika and prasad.
The President was offered with the tika, garland and auspicious offerings by the Chief Priest at the Hanumandhoka Management Office, Dev Raj Aryal.
A contingent of the Nepalese Army presented a guard of honour to the Head of the State on the occasion.
The ritual is observed every year on the occasion of Basanta Panchami. The festival is also celebrated as the Shree Panchami or Saraswati Puja, offering prayers to Saraswati, the Goddess of Knowledge.
Vice-President Nanda Bahadur Pun and Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ also attended the ritual and took tika and prasad. Also present on the occasion were Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs Bimalendra Nidhi, ministers, the heads of constitutional bodies, special class high-ranking government officials and the chiefs of the security bodies.
There is a tradition that the Head of the State and of the Government along with high officials attending the Basanta Shrawan ritual every year.
The ritual has its origins in the Srimad Bhagawat Mahapurana which mentions about a particular episode in the life of the Hindu god Krishna in which Radha and her friends sing hymns in praise of lord Krishna heralding the arrival of the spring season. It is believed that the spring season begins from this day.
At the Basanta Shrawan ritual, the Main Priest Aryal read out 12 hymns highlighting the significance of the Basanta Panchami day and festival. The Nepali traditional Panchaibaja ensemble was playing as the listening of the hymns was in progress. The Nepalese Army band also played the auspicious melody on the occasion.