Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Ropain;The Rice Planting Festival in Jumla

17 June 2015

Ropai; The Rice Planting Festival
Chief District officer Mr.Dipendra Raj Poudel, planting rice plants

District Agriculture Office,Jumla organised the Rice Planting Festival in the historically important Laachu Jeuwla( Laachu field prepared by the Lachal Kirti Paikalo; Lachhal Kirti, a famous ruler and wrestler of the time and one of the disciples of the sage, cut the hillock near Khala chour, a place between the villages of Micha and Sridhuska, to let the water flow.) at Tatopani VDC. It lies 12km far from district headquarter Khalanga.

Rally of Festival

Laachu Jyaulo
The festival begins by planting rce plant by the Chief District Officer ,Mr.Dipendra Raj Poudel and Liasion District Officer Mr. Ishwori Kumari Giri with other senior officials from different Govt offices and NGOs who attended the festival.
Locally called Mohi;preparing field
 Rapoain is a unique festival to observein Jumla.It is the highest place in world where rice is cultivated. In Jumla before Monsoons starts the framers enjoy sowing rice plants in their fields.The farming system in Jumla is still quite traditional.
preparing oxen for plouging
enjoying with Panchey Baja
Government of Nepal started to celebrate Ropain Festival from 2063 B.S. First of Asar is observed as Ropain Festival and Dhan Festival in Jumla where as government of Nepal declare as 15 of Asar is a Ropain Festival in all Nepal.
women dancing on the field
The work of farming can be the fun of the highest level and it can be observed during Ropai Festival in Nepal. Oxen ploughing fields, women sowing seeds and farmers digging the fields and the fun part of drenching each other with muddy water in the field are a great enjoyment.
locally called Biyaray,helps to maintain the khet in a same level
The traditional music fusioned with typical Ropai songs sung by the farmers fill the atmosphere in the fields. The monsoon festival related with agriculture and celebrated by the farmers these days is a center of attraction in Jumla.

History of Paddy Cultivation

Kalo Marsi;a special species of paddy suitable in high altitude and alpine climate is grown in Jumla.

The marsi grown in Jumla is considered as one of the Kashmiri varieties of paddy. According to a local legend, a Kashmiri sage Chandan Nath on his way to Mansarowar arrived at Jumla during thirteenth or fourteenth century. He meet (Lachal kirti paikalo; a powerful wrestler of the time later King of the region)  at Jumla. Valley was a big Lake. He said here can be rice grown to Paikalo, later he opened way to pas the water before Chandanath Baba came from Manasarowar, Lachhal Kirti had already prepared the terrace of "Guru Phokto" (also called "Lachhu Jyulo") near Tatopani, a perennial source of hot water.The Chandan Nath then returned to Kashmir from where he brought back paddy seed of marsi.

Further more; the Chandanath Baba taught the techniques to be adopted and the schedule of activities to be followed in order to cultivate paddy. The people believe that the god Chandan Nath originally prescribed the custom. This is therefore a part of their religious duty to follow it as exactly as possible.

Calendar of Rice Cultivation in Jumla practice
Chaitra 12
Keeping paddy seeds in water to moisten
Chaitra 16
Bringing the moistend seeds and dry in sunlight. keep it near to warm place in Kitchen to maintain wamth and ease to germinate
Chaitra 18
Seedling in the seedbed locally called Bennu
Jestha 1-Asar first week
Uprooting paddy seed and planting on the prepared field called Khet.
Asar( June)
Weedinfg paddy ( once a month)
Weedinfg paddy ( once a month)
On the day of Ganesh Chouthi,  bring one tuft of paddy at home to offer to the god Ganesh.
Cutting, threshing, winnowing and harvesting of paddy. From the first harvest, one Supa of paddy, called shikh is offered to the sage Chandan Nath. But these days few people only offered Shikh .

Planting of rice plants
women planting rice plants and crowd watching a festival

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