Our timing for the trek was perfect starting on the biggest day of the country’s most important festival of the year Dasai, usually falling sometime in October. The festival celebrates the God Durga with the theme of good conquering evil and culminating with almost every family sacrificing an animal, in most cases a goat, as part of the celebration. Rituals and prayers take place before the final sacrifice but we didn’t stick around to watch.
Another tradition of the Hindu festival is constructing a swing in the village for children that’s used only during the celebration.
Along the path we came across a small herd of lucky goats that appeared to have dashed the sacrifices for this year’s festival.
Our first stop was lunch in Bhulbhule, a small village with a population of just over 3000 that sits below views of Mansalu, the 8th highest mountain in the world at 8163 meters. These days many trekkers take a bus all the way to Bhulbhule to make this town their starting point of the Annapurna Circuit. It’s still very warm during the day at 840 meters elevation so we could enjoy the scenery and lunch in short sleeves next to the Marshyangdi River.
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