Ghode Jatra: A Festival Celebrating Horsepower in Nepal

March 13, 2023

Nepal is a country rich in culture and tradition, with numerous festivals throughout the year. One such festival is Ghode Jatra, which literally translates to “Horse Racing Day”. This festival is celebrated in Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal, on the day of the dark moon in the Nepali month of Chaitra (March/April). Ghode Jatra is one of the most exciting and unique festivals in Nepal, celebrated with great enthusiasm and zeal by the people of Kathmandu.

The Origins of Ghode Jatra

Ghode Jatra has its roots in ancient Hindu mythology. According to legend, the demon Tundi was causing havoc in the Kathmandu Valley, and no one was able to defeat him. Lord Vishnu, one of the three major gods in Hinduism, then came to the rescue and killed Tundi by trampling him with his horse. To commemorate this victory, the festival of Ghode Jatra was established.


Ghode Jatra is a grand festival, with a variety of events and celebrations taking place. The main attraction of the festival is the horse racing, which is held in Tudikhel, an open ground in the heart of Kathmandu. The Nepal Army also participates in the event, with the president and other high-ranking officials in attendance.

The horse racing is not just a competition, but also a way of warding off evil spirits. According to tradition, the sound of the horses’ hooves hitting the ground scares away evil spirits and brings good luck to the people. The horses are decorated with colorful ribbons, and the jockeys wear traditional attire.

Apart from the horse racing, there are other cultural events such as processions, folk dances, and music performances. The festival is also an occasion for families and friends to come together and enjoy traditional Nepali food, such as sel roti (a sweet fried doughnut) and samosas (a fried pastry filled with spiced vegetables).


Ghode Jatra is not just a festival, but also a celebration of Nepal’s rich cultural heritage. The festival reflects the country’s love for horses, which have played an important role in Nepali culture and history. Horses have been used for transportation, agriculture, and warfare in Nepal for centuries.

In addition, Ghode Jatra is also a symbol of unity and harmony among the people of Kathmandu. The festival brings together people from different castes and ethnicities, and promotes a sense of community and togetherness.

Ghode Jatra is a unique and exciting festival that celebrates Nepal’s cultural heritage and promotes unity and harmony among the people. The horse racing, cultural events, and traditional food make it a memorable occasion for both locals and tourists. If you ever visit Nepal in March or April, be sure to witness the grandeur of Ghode Jatra and experience the power of horsepower.