Nepali Father's Day (Kushe Aunsi) | Motiram Jayanti
Father's Day in Nepal is celebrated on a different day from the rest of the world. The day is known as Kushe Aunsi and is celebrated as a festival.
Kushe Aunsi, Gokarna Aunsi or Pitri Tirpani Aunsi is a festival/event to celebrate Father's Day in Nepal. The event marks a unique day dedicated to remembering and honoring fathers. This Hindu community’s festival reminds all Nepali people that father is no less than any god. Nepali father's day falls on the first new moon of Bhadra Krishna Paksha. The day either falls in late August or early September.
On this day, sons and daughters pay homage to their fathers and spend quality time with their fathers. The children buy special clothes and sweets for their fathers. They prepare their father’s favorite foods and feed their father. Even they distribute food to the needy families in the name of their fathers.
Likewise, people who have lost their fathers, visit Gokarneshwor temple (one of the Shiva shrines), at Gokarna Municipality. They perform the holy "Shradh" in commemoration of their deceased fathers at Gokarna. Wishing their father a Happy Father's Day stay they provide shida (grains and clothes) to the Priests.
Likewise, on the bank of Bagmati at Gokarna, people also perform the pinda daan ritual. in the name of their deceased father. On this day, people also perform Shraddha at the bank of Bagmati river at Pashupatinath.
Legend about Nepali father's day (Kushe Aunshi)
As per the legend, Shiva and Parbati vanished from the Himalayan parbat creating a huge confusion among gods. However, Lord Shiva and goddess Parbati were later found living as deer in Mrigasthali’s Sleshmantak jungle in Pashupatinath. Then, lord Brahma and Vishnu were given the responsibility to bring Shiva and Parvati back to Kailasha.
While searching, Brahma was able to capture lord Shiva living as a beautiful golden Buck. He caught lord Shiva by his horns but the horns broke after Brahma applied pressure to it. So, Brahma felt guilty for causing pain to lord Shiva.
Lord Shiva instructed Brahma and Vishnu to place those horns as Shiva Lingam wherever they fit. So, the horns were placed in Gokarna by Brahma and Vishnu. Since then, it has been said that worshiping Shiva at Gokarneshwor Mahadev and performing pinda is equivalent to doing ten shraddhas in Gaya.
Why do Nepalese Hindu people have a separate Father’s day?
In different countries, people celebrate International Father's Day on the third Sunday of June. It is a day when people honor fatherhood, paternal bonds, and relish the role of a father in a family. But Hindu people have a different father day for religious reasons. They celebrate father day on the new moon of Bhadra Krishna Paksha.
In Hinduism, people worship parents like gods. They believe that their deceased father in heaven will eat the Pinda they offer on this day.
As Hindu people of Nepal also have a separate calendar, and a broader philosophy about father's day. Hence, Nepali People celebrate father's day on different date. Nepali people also celebrate International Father’s Day, but Kushey Aunsi holds a greater significance here.
Motiram Jayanti - celebrated on the day of Kushe Aunshi
Yuba Kabi Motiram Bhatta revived various writings of Adikabi Bhanubhakta Acharya. He was born on the night of Kushe Aushi, in Kathmandu in 1866. So, people also remember Kushe Aunsi as Motiram's birthdate and celebrate the day as Motiram Jayanti.
Perhaps not all of Bhanubhakta's works would exist today. It was all possible since Motiram had investigated, excavated, and exposed the poetry and other works. He also rewrite Bhanubhakta's Ramayan written in Khas language. Bhatta was also the first ever publisher of a Nepali language semiannually magazine in Banaras.