Hindus all over Nepal are celebrating the festival of Gai Jatra, the procession of the cows. Over the next week families that have lost a loved one will march through the streets leading a cow. Of course if a cow isn’t available, a young boy dressed as one will suffice.
Hindus believe that the cow is a sacred animal which will aid the deceased in their journey to heaven. Of course the cow doesn’t hold that esteemed honor in the US, but McDonalds isn’t complaining. Anyways back to business.
At the end of the procession, participants engage in songs, joke telling, and other humorous activities. The festival is meant to be healthy festival enabling people to accept the reality of death, not fear it. According to Hinduism,"whatever a man does in his life is a preparation to lead a good life, after death".
At first I was going to post this story as sort of a fun-hearted post. But the concept of accepting and celebrating death as a normal part of life really made me wonder about other religions. I’ve been to a lot of Christian funeral services and even a Jewish one. They were all overly sad affairs. Yes, I understand that person has died, but that’s not what should be remembered. I believe a funeral should be a celebration of one’s life, not a mourning of their death. When my lights go out, I want my funeral to be fun. I’m talking open bar, live music, strippers, and dancing midgets. And you’re all invited!
Here’s a sample of the entertainment that takes place I believe. I don’t speak the language so if there are any Hindu readers out there, please enlighten us. Thanks!