London - 30th March 2014
Pasa Puchah Guthi UK observed Paha Chahre festival for the first time ever in the UK. Held at Abbey Estate Association,
Alperton, the event was joined by eighty culture-loving Nepalese in the UK. While the participants ranged from few-
months-old to seventy-years-old, enthusiasts from as far as Nottingham were seen taking an active part. Paha Chahre is
the 14th day of dark moon in March/April according to Lunar calendar and it is such a festival dedicated to the guests
of the household. Popularly celebrated with a huge procession mainly in the Kathmandu valley, Paha Chahre is an age-old
tradition still going strong in various parts of Nepal.
The event commenced with film screening of various Jatras (traditional processions) carried out in Nepal. An interesting talk
program constituted the second segment of the program, in which, PPGUK past-President Dr Sachetan Tuladhar gave an
introduction to Paha Chahre festival and elaborated on his personal experiences from the locality of Ason, including
Dyo-Lwakigu (Meeting of the deities) and Mala: Jaa (sacred rice fed to the kids for their good health). Editor-in-chief
of Matina Publications, Mr Shashi Mahaju elaborated on the facts related to Paha Chahre and various differences among
its local traditions.
PPGUK founding member and President Balmukund Prasad Joshi explained the religious significance of Paha Chahre. He further
informed the Guthi members about the upcoming Annual General Meeting (AGM) of PPGUK London in July-August 2014. He urged
all members to be present at the AGM and also to participate and forward their candidacy for the next executive term.
PPGUK founding member and President of the Board of trustees, Mr Mahanta Shrestha thanked the executive committee for marking
an important tradition from Newah culture in the UK. The talk segment concluded with a minute-long silence observed for
the recent demise of Mr Raju Manandhar, son of Mr Gopal Manandhar from Wembley, who have been one of the first members
of Guthi since its inception.
Child participants took part in the Mask-colouring contest in which they showed great talent in colouring the masks of major
Paha Chahre deities including Mahaluxmi Ajima, Ganesh, Singini and Baraha. In the contest, eight-years-old Kanav Shrestha,
five-years-old Renee Shrestha and eight-years-old Aryan Shrestha stood first, second and third respectively. The winners
and participants won various prizes including a Kids' NepalBhasha learner book each.
Various member families of PPGUK showed great enthusiasm in preparing Samye-baji, a traditional Newah lunch, which was served
to all guests. Veteran artist Madan Thapa opened the cultural segment by playing popular traditional tunes. While this
entertainment ride was carried forward by Guthi's invaluable talents like dancer Deepa Shrestha and singer Anju Shrestha
performing folk numbers, this year's Paha Chahre celebration gracefully concluded with founding member and past-President
Mr Arjun Pradhan delivering a melodious song to a highly excited audience joined by founding members Amrit Ratna Sthapit
and Shashidhar Manandhar.
To view photos from the event, please click here