Kathmandu on July 3 (BNA): Thousands of farmers and their families across Nepal celebrated an annual rice festival by planting rice, splashing in muddy fields, and enjoying a special feast.
The farmers were joined by other villagers, visitors from the cities and tourists visiting the Himalayan country.
Rice is a staple food for millions of Nepalese and the crop is generally grown once a year in July and harvested about four months later.
Farmers and their families sang traditional songs to welcome the rain that rice needs to grow and thank the gods for sending rain at the right time, the Associated Press reports.
After sowing lines of rice, they splashed the muddy fields, smeared each other with mud and sand, and danced some more before the celebration culminated in a feast.
Today it is also known as “Dahi Chiora” for the yoghurt and battered rice that make up one of the main dishes eaten during the feast.
Elsewhere in the country, people ate yogurt and puffed rice with mangoes and bananas to celebrate the day at home.
The government has declared National Rice Day a holiday and has tried to encourage people to continue or return to rice farming, as many are increasingly looking to take on other occupations.
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