Kha:mey festival in Bhaktapur.
BHAKTAPUR: Newari people are observing a cultural festival, Kha:mey Bwakegu (He buffalo race) today.
The Kha:mey Bwakegu festival is celebrated in the afternoon of the day of Mahanawam of Bada Dashain.
Kha:mey is regarded as the symbol of Mahishasur, a deceitful demon, according Hindu mythology. The he buffalo is chased from Nawadurga Dyo:Chhe (Devgriha) to Brahmayani Peeth before it is butchered as part of celebration of the festival.
The flesh of the buffalo is butchered into small pieces and shared among the community.
It is also dried and pestled into powder and used as incense during Laxmi Puja in the belief that it will drive away ghosts and evil spirits, creating environment conducive for Goddess Laxmi in the house, said cultural expert Prof. Dr. Purusottam Lochan Shrestha.