(A month of prayer and fasting from the new moon of Bhadra}
Gunla is a sacred month dedicated to Lord Buddha. This festival commemorates the auspicious "rains retreat" when the Buddha, over 2,500 years ago, led his close disciples into solitary meditation and preached to them the essence of his principles. Accordingly, monks and nuns go into retreat during the rainy season.
Lay Buddhists also spend the month in prayer and fasting. They visit Swayambhunath and other shrines every day early in the morning. Groups of people can be seen making their way to Swayambhunath in the misty morning accompanied by musicl bands with thumping drums carrying small clay figures of the Buddha and stupas. The Gunla Lakhe masked dancer enlivens the festivals with his street performances.
A number of religious events are held c during this period. Sacred texts (saphu) and ancient scroll paintings (paubha) are brought out for display at monastic courtyards all over the city. The most extraordinary collection of centuries old texts written in gold and silver paint I can be seen within the courtyard of Thambahi (Thamel).
The festival of Gunla climaxes on the day of Poncho Daan, the Festival of Five Offerings which is held in Patan, the auspicious ceremony during which offerings are made to monks and household priests. The priests chant prayers as they accept the gifts and shower blessings in return.