The Samyak Mahadan festival

The Samyak Mahadan festival is an alms giving festival that venerates deities like Dipankar Buddha, Basundhara, Arya Tara and other Bodhisattvas and Buddhas. The festival has stood the test of time, becoming more prominent, organised and grandiose—owing to the strength of the monasteries organising the festival and the Guthi system. The festival brings together a wide cross-section of the Newar community, including lamas, musicians, artists, and farmers. During the celebrations, the city reverberates with the chants of lamas and Buddhist religious performances. The event showcases a variety of Newer Buddhist elements, with hundreds of images of Dipankar Buddha, and other buddhas and bodhisattvas, including Avalokitesvara and Arya Tara, and gifts of different types of food for the deities of the Buddhist cosmos. Devotees from all walks of life give away different types of gifts including money and food to the deities, their keepers, monks and the Buddhist communities. - Youbesh Dhaubhadel

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