The eight-month-long Nava Durga Nach in the municipality of Bhaktapur-9, Suryamadi, began Friday 2nd Magh. The Nach, which will be displayed in Bhaktapur and several other areas of Kathmandu, will continue until Shrawan’s Bhal-Bhal Ashtami. Every year the festival starts with Magh 2 traditionally exhibiting from Suryamadi.
According of Time table schedule of Lunar Calendar , The Nach is displayed in various locations. The dance is only exhibited in 21 areas of Bhaktapur municipality, including Dattatreya, Kwathandau, Gachhen, Dachhutole, Nagpokhari, Inacho, Golmadhi, Yachhen, according to the members of Nava Durga Gana. Similarly, in line with custom, the dance will be exhibited in various localities Taumadhi, Talako, Pottery Square, Nasmana, Gahiti, Kwachhen, Tibukchhen, Sukuldhoka, Durbar Square, Khauma and Itachhen.
Also presented in the municipalities of Madhyapur Thimi and Changunarayan, the Nach will be seen outside Kathmandu in Tokha and Sangha, Kavre, Nala, Dhulikhel, Shrikhandpur and Khurpu.
The Nach is performed by the group Devgan. According to one of the team members Narayanman Banamala, 19 dancers wearing masks will act as Devgan. “Bhairav, Mahakali, Barahi, Ganesh, Brahmayani, Indrayani, Dumbhasingh, Mahadev, Shwet Bhairav are all manifestations of the holy event.”
Clad in traditional clothing, the dance should be performed barefoot by performers manifesting different gods and goddesses. The cultural custom indicates that during this holy process, the performers should have a clear food intake and stay away from family members. The members of Devgan report that the viability of the traditional Nach is threatened by financial constraints.
Nava Durga Nach is understood in Nepal Bhasa to be Ngaa lakyegu . This implies fishing that is not seen in the Nach. When chasing them in return, the viewers whistle and tease the performers (Devgan). If Devgan manages to capture the chased individual, there is a tradition of offering offerings. On this note, the fish is considered to be someone who is hunted and captured, which is why the occasion is associated catching a fish.
The traditional Nava Durga Nach started from the period of the King of Bhaktapur, Bhuwan Malla Nach, as per historian Purshottam Lochan Shrestha (1505-1519 A.D). The Nach is thought to have been introduced as an alternative to the war against famine that struck Bhaktapur in 1513 A.D.