Ropai Jatra: Planting happiness
-   2017-06-29 | nepaltraveller.com
Monsoon means rice planting, and rice planting means mud, mayhem and fun. Indulge in this unique festival and get to know Nepal better
The monsoons in Nepal is particularly soothing. The rain not only freshens the atmosphere but it also washes the physical dirt. There is something calming about the sound of the monsoon rain which is accompanied with the croaking of frogs and view of lush green fields everywhere. In a country where still a major part of the population is dependent on agriculture, the start of the monsoon marks a festival that is agriculture based. National Paddy Day or Ropai Jatra is celebrated on July 29 (Ashad 15) and has great importance for farmers all around the country.
On the Day of festival people visit the wet and muddy fields and relish the experience of rice plantation. Folk song competitions, rice planting competitions and several other entertaining games are organised during the festival. On the day ladies plant the rice plant and gentleman plough the field to make the land suitable for planting the paddy. It is also customary to have curd, beaten rice, rice pudding and chapattis on the day of the festival.
In recent years the festival has become popular amongst the tourists visiting Nepal who have enjoyed participating in this unique festival. You will find many tourists who won’t hesitate to dive in the muddy water and enjoy this this day with their friends and the locals. The festival also helps unify the local community because every household sends a member to support the festival. Over the years many organisations in Nepal have been holding competitions and programs on this day with a motive to promote agro-tourism.
The day also marks the end of the planting period. The day symbolises one of the most important agricultural practices in the country and is a special day for the Nepalese. You will also hear the farmers sing the Asar songs while planting that enumerates the joys and sorrows of the farmers. With time agriculture based tourism is gaining popularity with its potential events like Ropai Mela for the broadening of tourism industry in Nepal.