KATHMANDU, Nov. 9 (Xinhua) -- As part of a unique old tradition, people from ethnic Newar community in Nepal celebrated Mha Puja or the self worshipping day on Thursday evening.
Mha Puja, which is marked annually during the country's second biggest festival Tihar, is about worship of the self to cleanse and empower the soul. The day is celebrated as a part of celebrations of their New Year called Nepal Sambat as per the lunar calendar.
During the festival, family members gather on the floor and worship their bodies with a belief that it will purify the body, mind and soul for enlightenment.
They use the elements like flowers, fruits, butter lamps, nuts and sweets to worship after creating a colorful art called Mandala.
On the occasion, a special Mha Puja was held in the premise of the world heritage site Patan Durbar Square for the foreign tourists, while over two dozen Chinese tourists participated in the celebrations.
Lin Tao, 45, a Chinese tourist, was among the one. "This is my first time to experience such unique culture. I feel lucky to celebrate this festival with Nepali friends," Lin told Xinhua after the rituals.
The tourists were also offered with Nepali cap called Dhaka Topi, garlands and local delicacies by the locals dressed in traditional attires.
Apu Lal Awale, a tourism entrepreneur, told Xinhua, "We are very rich in culture thus the participation of tourists in such rituals strengthen the people-to-people relations between the countries. Its an integral part of culture exchange."