RELIGION

Swasthani Brata Katha Festival, Hindu Holy Month, Begins In Nepal

The monthlong, Hindu Swasthani Brata Katha festival began on January 5, 2015 in Nepal, drawing devotees to the Salinadi River for a cleansing bath.

During the festival faithful recite one chapter a day of the 31-chapter Swasthani Brata Katha, a holy scripture dedicated to Hindu goddess Swasthani. Devotees, particularly women among them, also fast during the month and pray for their family's wellbeing.

Take a look at photos of some of the festival's rituals below:

  • Nepalese devotees cross the Salinadi River to perform rituals during the first day of the month-long Swasthani Bratakatha fes
    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Nepalese devotees cross the Salinadi River to perform rituals during the first day of the month-long Swasthani Bratakatha festival in Sankhu, on the outskirts of Katmandu, Monday, Jan. 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)
  • Nepalese roadside vendors wait for the customer to sell the item used for ritual during the first day Swasthani Bratakatha fe
    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Nepalese roadside vendors wait for the customer to sell the item used for ritual during the first day Swasthani Bratakatha festival in Sankhu, on the outskirts of Katmandu, Monday, Jan. 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)
  • A Nepalese woman holds a plate containing a variety of items for performing a ritual during the first day of month long Swast
    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    A Nepalese woman holds a plate containing a variety of items for performing a ritual during the first day of month long Swasthani Bratakatha festival in Sankhu, on the outskirts of Katmandu, Monday, Jan. 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)
  • Nepalese women devotees sit around a bonfire  to warm themselves before they take holy deep in Salinadi River during the firs
    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Nepalese women devotees sit around a bonfire to warm themselves before they take holy deep in Salinadi River during the first day of month long Swasthani Bratakatha festiva in Sankhu, on the outskirts of Katmandu, Monday, Jan. 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)
  • A Nepalese priest recites holy book on the bank of Salinadi River during the first day of month long Swasthani Bratakatha fes
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    A Nepalese priest recites holy book on the bank of Salinadi River during the first day of month long Swasthani Bratakatha festivalin Sankhu, on the outskirts of Katmandu, Monday, Jan. 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)
  • A Nepalese women devotees perform ritual during the first day of month long Swasthani Bratakatha festival in Sankhu, on the o
    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    A Nepalese women devotees perform ritual during the first day of month long Swasthani Bratakatha festival in Sankhu, on the outskirts of Katmandu, Monday, Jan. 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)
  • A Holy man talks to his devotees during the first day of month long Swasthani Bratakatha festiva in Sankhu, on the outskirts
    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    A Holy man talks to his devotees during the first day of month long Swasthani Bratakatha festiva in Sankhu, on the outskirts of Katmandu, Monday, Jan. 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)
  • Nepalese Hindu devotees prostrate on the ground to pray outside a temple as a part of a ritual during the first day of month
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    Nepalese Hindu devotees prostrate on the ground to pray outside a temple as a part of a ritual during the first day of month long Swasthani Bratakatha festival in Sankhu, on the outskirts of Katmandu, Monday, Jan. 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)
  • A Nepalese woman devotee sits near a bon fire to warm herself before she takes holy deep in Salinadi River during the first d
    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    A Nepalese woman devotee sits near a bon fire to warm herself before she takes holy deep in Salinadi River during the first day of month long Swasthani Bratakatha festival in Sankhu, on the outskirts of Katmandu, Monday, Jan. 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)
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