Having finally recovered from food poisoning and a sprained ankle, Bright Week has been a joy. We went out today to run some errands and then walked home through the neighborhood block party that local merchants have put together.
Two communities, Jawalakhel and Kumaripati joined together to put on the party. We live in Kumaripati. In addition to the many booths put up by merchants and restaurants (the food smells great!), there was a live appearance of the Kumari herself!
The Kumari is a living goddess. (Actually there are 3 Kumaris in the Kathmandu valley, one of which is here in Kumaripati itself). Through various rituals, a child is revealed to be the living goddess, Kumari. She remains a goddess until she reaches puberty and then is replaced by the next incarnation of the goddess. Life can be hard for the young girls after they are displaced. Who wants to marry a former goddess? There are many sad stories of about these former goddesses.
On a more positive note, even Angry Bird showed up for the big day in Kumaripati!