After postponing several times due to COVID-19 pandemic, the idol placing ceremony of the Rato Machhindranath in Patan has been completed today. As per the special ceremony and auspicious time fixed by astrologer, the idol of Machhindranath placed at chariot at 12:15.
The idol was placed in a special ritual in a chariot. With this Red Machhindranath chariot process begin in Kathmandu. However, it is yet to see how well the process follows given the number of COVID-19 cases rising in the Kathmandu valley. Since the festival is a mass carnival-like festival with the participation of thousands of people, the festival can be a place to easily spread the virus.
After holding the meeting with Lalitpur Metropolitan City and other stakeholders including local stakeholders, the Guthi Sansthan has decided to hold the jatra with proper safety precautions in place.
However, when it does commence, the locals of resident in Patan needs to take health risk. After placing the idol to Chariot, now the second part is to pull the chariot. A major part of the festival is inviting all our family members and feasting with them. The question remains how people organize large gatherings.