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RED MACHHENDRANATH

Red Machhendranath (May)

Until a few decades ago, before the Kathmandu VaIIey became a pureiy commercial hub, it was an agricultural land which depended upon the rainy monsoon for its important rice crop. Today, though traditional farming practices have reduced, the pre-monsoon season still sees great worship made to Red Machhendranath - a rain god. Patan's streets and palace complex are made even more evocative by wavering lamp and candle lights, women busy cooking feasts, and men gathering strength to pull the chariot of their red deity. As Lord Machhendranath views his followers from the high seat of his chariot, its four wheels - representing the powerful Bhairab - receive rice and vermilion powder, the king of serpents is asked for blessings, and his jewelled vest is shown to the public.