Sa:Paru (Gai Jatra) festival lasts for eight days, and all through these days, revelers in outlandish dresses parade around the prescribed route, capturing and ridiculing at corrupt practices of public figures.
Gai Jatra, literally means Cow festival, is one of the most colorful and hilarious festivals, but the most enchanting of all can be observed in Bhaktapur. On the very day of Gai Jatra in the same time all the bereaved families in the city go around the city throughout the heritage route with a cow, or a girl or a boy dressed like a sacred animal. The cow is believed to help the departed souls wade in the cosmic sea on their way to the heaven. And it is also said that it is only this day when the gates of the after-world are trown open for the dead.
Bamboo structures covered with colorful cloth and painted pictures of cows symbolizing the dead, crowd the streets in Bhaktapur on the Sa: Paru day. The bamboo constructions are such that one can easily determine whether the dead was a male or a female or a minor. Apparently adding humor to the somber aspect of the festival, different groups of people go around, clashing sticks and caricaturing at different events and personalities. All through the week, visitors can see and enjoy masked dances and ‘humor & satire programs’ at different public spaces & squares of the ancient city.