On the day of Gai Jatra, families who have lost the member during the past year
parade a decorated cow around the city. Others dress up kids as cows or ascetics
and walk in procession. The animal is believed to help departed souls in their
journey into the after-world. In Kathmandu, the bereaved families process
proceed along the festival route individually. In Patan, the participants gather
at Dubar Square and then move out together.
This festival was started to be celebrated from the period of Pratap Malla's
rule who is the builder of Rani Pokhari in Kathmandu. He organized this festival
to make his Queen happy, who had lost her beloved younger son. The King wanted
to show the Queen that she is not only the one who had lost her beloved son but
there are many others like her.