- Title: LGBTcommunity in Kathmandu mark the Gai Jatra festival
- Date: 8th August 2017
- Summary: MEMBERS TAKING PHOTOS MEMBER SMILING PARADE IN PROGRESS
- Embargoed: 22nd August 2017 13:33
- Keywords: LGBT festival parade Gai Jatra Nepal Nepal LGBT
- Location: KATHMANDU, NEPAL
- City: KATHMANDU, NEPAL
- Country: Nepal
- Topics: Human Interest / Brights / Odd News,Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA0086TAQ3WL
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: PART AUDIO AS INCOMING
Nepal's LGBT community joined hundreds of participants in a parade down the streets of Kathmandu on Tuesday (August 8) to mark the Gai Jatra festival, also known as the procession of cows.
The annual event, usually in August or September, is one of the conservative Hindu-majority country's most popular festivals, and is considered by the LGBT community as an opportunity to freely express themselves.
"We gather here to celebrate annual LGBT Pride, a pride of sexual and gender minorities," said Manish Dhakal, a member of the leading gay rights group Blue Diamond Society.
Traditionally, families who have lost a relative during the past year lead a cow in the procession, or dress a boy as the animal, to make sure their lost loved one has a place in heaven.
During the 17th century Nepal's ruler, King Pratap Malla, is said to have invited people to march in costumes and perform stunts and plays in front of his palace to make his grief-stricken wife smile after the death of their son. The queen eventually smiled and accepted the loss of her son. Many people believe the parade has continued ever since.
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