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Bala Chaturdasi (December)

This simple, festive day takes place in the ancient forest surrounding the temple of Pashupatinath. It is one of the oldest traditions of the Valley. Families who have lost a loved one in the last year kreep an aIl night vigil in the forest, lighting oil lamps and singing songs. FoIIowing a ritual morning bath, people walk through the forest, scattering seven types of grain along the paths and over the linga of Lord Shiva to give merit to their late kinsmen and to cleanse the sins of a mythological man called Bala who had been transformed into a demon.