BHAKTAPUR, NEPAL, January 7, 2023 (Sentinel): Month-long fasting of Madhav Narayan has formally begun in Nepal with Hindu devotees gathering on the embankments of rivers to worship Lord Vishnu. Devotees keep fasting for a month and devote themselves to Lord Vishnu performing various rituals. On the first day of the fasting, they took a holy dip at Hanuman Ghat of Bhaktapur. This festival starts alongside Swasthani Brata observed in Sankhu of Kathmandu which starts annually from Paush Shukla Poornima (Full Moon Day) to Magh Shukla Poornima. Though both places observe the festival starting and ending on the same day, the events in Bhaktapur are different from that from Sankhu. During the fasting month, devotees wake up early in the morning, take a holy bath in the nearby river, and stay still for some time in the water. They get up from the water only after a priest finishes the mantras which usually takes about 5 minutes.

The fasting devotees for a month only eat one time a day- in the evening following restrictions on eateries. Throughout the month, the processors roll down to the river which is called Silamantulegu. Likewise, some of them practice Madulyau, where they lie down to the earth like Sastanga Namaskar which they follow in each proceeding step. As the fasting month is observed mainly by women in Sankhu, the festival of Madhav Narayan is mostly observed by male devotees rather than women.