The idea of celebrating a Father's Day is not quite so popular, across the world, as perhaps that of a Mother's Day. However, in Nepal, the father's day in the sun is taken very seriously; in fact, it is almost a religious occasion.

On 17 August, hundreds of Hindu devotees turned up at the Gokarna Temple on the banks of the Bagmati River, to celebrate Kuse Aunsi - the Nepalese ode to a father - and to pray for those fathers who have passed away.

Sons and daughters, as well as other devotees, gather every year near the temple, to celebrate the teachings and guidance they received from their fathers. Kuse Aunsi falls on the dark fortnight of a month in the Hindu calendar, which varies between August and September. The devotees take turns dipping in the waters of the river, believed to be holy. They also worship at the temple, offer sweets to various deities and also perform a number of religious rituals. In addition, those devotees whose fathers are still alive partake of a special Father's Day celebration and visit the temple in the company of their fathers.

"Gokarna Aunsi is the most auspicious day to honour ones father for his guidance and teachings in life. It is the day when sons and daughters, near or far, come with presents and confections to spend the day with their father. People perform rituals and offer grains, vegetables and fruits to priests present for the occasion," the country's Tourism Board writes on its official Web site.

The Gokarna Temple, located some five miles east of the capital city of Kathmandu, is dedicated to Lord Shiva - one of the trinity of Supreme Gods in Hindu mythology known for his affinity to the souls of the dead. It is believed that offering prayers to and worshipping the deity on Kuse Aunis affords the souls of departed fathers a measure of peace. The festival, also known as Gokarna Aunsi, is one of those festivals that attracts a number of tourists, who come to witness this unique celebration of family bonds.

Scroll down to view the photographs of the festival

A Hindu devotee holds a candle while performing religious rituals on the banks of the Bagmati River while celebrating Kuse Aunsi (Father's Day) at Gokarna Temple in Kathmandu, 17 August.REUTERS
Hindu devotees wash themselves and perform religious rituals on the banks of the Bagmati River while celebrating Kuse Aunsi (Father's Day) at Gokarna Temple in Kathmandu.REUTERS
A Hindu devotee prepares himself to perform religious rituals on the banks of the Bagmati River while celebrating Kuse Aunsi (Father's Day) at Gokarna Temple in Kathmandu.REUTERS
A Hindu devotee washes himself and offers prayers after performing rituals on the banks of the Bagmati River while celebrating Kuse Aunsi (Father's Day) at Gokarna Temple in Kathmandu.REUTERS
Women watch from a distance as Hindu devotees wash themselves and perform religious rituals on the banks of the Bagmati River while celebrating Kuse Aunsi (Father's Day) at Gokarna Temple in Kathmandu.REUTERS
Hindu devotees cross a bridge over the Bagmati River to perform religious rituals on the banks of the Bagmati River while celebrating Kuse Aunsi (Father's Day) at Gokarna Temple in Kathmandu.REUTERS
Hindu devotees perform religious rituals on the banks of the Bagmati River while celebrating Kuse Aunsi (Father's Day) at Gokarna Temple in Kathmandu.REUTERS
A Hindu priest stretches himself as he takes a break while performing religious rituals on the banks of the Bagmati River while celebrating Kuse Aunsi (Father's Day) at Gokarna Temple in Kathmandu.REUTERS