Rai Cultural Tour
The Rai Cultural Tour is a social and cultural encounter of Rai community of nepal during their main traditional festival. The festival is celebrated two times a year and known as Sakela Festival. The first one is Sakela Ubhauli celebrated during Baisakh Purnima or Buddha Jayanti between April&May and second is Sakela Udhauli between October-November of a year. These festivals are celebrated by all Rai community of the nation. The festival of Sakela is organized in Hattiban and Nakhipot city of Lalitpur district of kathmandu valley. The travelers are taken to in Hattiban and Nakhipot city of Lalitpur during Rai Cultural Tour to witness the festival and celebrations. Rai people are generally the warrior clans who have been the historical residents since the earlier days of Nepal. The Rai people have been involved in police and army sectors of both Nepal and foreign countries like India, Singapore, Britain, Honkong, Brunei etc. They are the mainstays of British Gurka Regiments and Indian Gurkha Regiments.
The festival of Sakela called as Sakela Ubhauli is celebrated for first half of year and Sakela Udhauli is celebrated for second half of a year. This festival is connected with ancient Rais who were then called kirats. The Sakela Ubhauli dance festival is a traditional event of Rai community where they gather in a group in open grounds to celebrate with traditional music and dance. During festival celebration the large groups of people wearing traditional Rai costume perform cultural dance together in a circle. Then the main dance leader performs the festival ritual in the holy worshipping place known as Sakela Than or place of sakela. After the worship is finished in Sakela Than the main leader gives signal to dance by starting himself and offering other dance. The main leader recites the holy book of Rai called Mundhum conveying how their ancestors travelled through Dudhkoshi river, Sunkoshi river, Tamakoshi river and settled in Bhotekoshi River. The story tells a year of 365 days is divided in to two half and phases named as Ubhauli and Udhauli giving the meaning of ascending and descending. The festival reminds the ancient ways of migrations of birds, animals and humans by ascending uphill in summer and descending downhill in winter.